Throughout her 40+ year career attorney Arlene Zarembka has been an advocate for the underdog, championing the civil liberties and civil rights of the underserved and underrepresented. She will receive the Ethical Society of St. Louis 2015 Ethics in Action Award for her lifetime of work. The award is presented annually to recognize local individuals whose life and achievements improve the lives of others.
The ceremony and reception are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 15 at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117.The event is free and open to all.
Zarembka is known for successfully defending the civil liberties of low-income residents threatened with condemnation and relocation. Since the 1980s she has been an advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens, winning a key victory in overturning a St. Louis city ordinance forbidding people to cross-dress. In 2014, she and her spouse were among the plaintiffs in a lawsuit demanding recognition by Missouri of their valid same-sex marriages from other states or countries.
A frequent lecturer at area law schools, she has also presented talks and workshops to the public on a variety of legal issues affecting reproductive rights, privacy rights, affordable housing and housing discrimination, the LGBT community, and the First Amendment. Zarembka has penned numerous articles and is the author of The Urban Housing Crisis: Social Economic, and Legal Issues and Proposals (1990) and co-author with Patricia C. McKissack of To Establish Justice: Citizenship and the Constitution (2004).
A graduate of Clayton High School and Swarthmore College, Zarembka earned her Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University.