LGBTQ Law Section Chair Christopher Riano Makes History

By Brandon Vogel

Christopher R. Riano

The chair of NYSBA’s new LGBTQ Law Section has made history.

Christopher R. Riano is the first openly LGBTQ member named as a commissioner to the New York State Gaming Commission, after serving as the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as general counsel of the New York State Liquor Authority.

Riano, the president of the Center for Civic Education, was confirmed by the State Senate on June 7.

He previously served as assistant counsel to Gov. Cuomo.

“It is such an honor to have the opportunity to serve the people of New York,” Riano said. “I have always believed in the importance of ensuring that LBGTQ people are visible at the highest levels of government, and I am looking forward to continue that path-breaking work at the New York State Gaming Commission.”

The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming activity in the state including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, the state lottery (including video lottery terminals) and commercial, charitable and Class III Indian gaming.

The mission of the LGBTQ Law Section is to promote equality in the law for LGBTQ people; eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ attorneys and litigants; promote equality of opportunity for, and increase the visibility of, contributions made by LGBTQ attorneys; and promote diversity in the bench by inclusion of all minorities, including LGBTQ people.

In honor of Pride Month, all NYSBA members can join the LGBTQ Law Section at no cost in 2021. Become a member here.

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