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National LGBT Bar Association honors Utah’s own Chris Wharton

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The National LGBT Bar Association awarded one of Utah’s own as one of the Best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 for 2019 last weekend at the Lavender Law Conference in Philadelphia.

T. Christopher Wharton is an attorney and senior partner at Wharton O’Brien, PLLC. Chris’s practice focuses on family law, criminal defense, and LGBTQ advocacy. Chris graduated magna cum laude from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science. He received his J.D. in from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Later he was president of the S.J. Quinney College of Law Student Bar Association and managing editor of the Journal of Law and Family Studies.


Chris opened his own practice in 2012, where his work in the areas of family law and LGBTQ advocacy has gained local and national attention. In 2013, Chris helped lead a team of attorneys in submitting amicus briefs to the United States Supreme Court for Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor. In 2015, he obtained the first same-sex common law marriage adjudication in Utah. That same year, Chris represented members of “Utah’s Capitol 13”— a group of LGBTQ civil rights demonstrators. Chris has represented more transgender and gender non-binary clients seeking name and gender changes than any other attorney in the state. In January 2018, Chris argued before the Utah Supreme Court that a judge in Ogden, Utah erred when he denied two transgender Utahns gender-marker changes. The Utah Supreme has yet to issue a decision in that case. In addition to law practice, Chris is also a member Salt Lake City Council. Chris’ pronouns are he/his.

 In 2016, then again in 2018, Chris was honored by the LGBTQ community in Utah with two QSaltLake Magazine Fabby Awards for ‘Best Attorney’, and Salt Lake City Weekly, named Chris the “Best Advocate for LGBT Families” in Utah.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Chris serves on the Salt Lake City Council where he has been a champion for human rights, equity issues, and traditionally under-served communities. Chris and his husband live with their dog, Blanche, and cats, Tim Gunn and Furguson.

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