Description: Al Smithson’s contributions to the LGBT community comprise a litany of firsts. After graduating from the University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill and serving 8 years in the United States Navy, he went on to be a founding member of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego in 1970, he has served on its board of directors and as its longtime vice-moderator. He is a founding member and former chairman of the board of The San Diego LGBT Community Center, a founding member of the Greater San Diego Business Association, and a charter member and former vice-president of the San Diego Democratic Club. A widely respected attorney, Smithson’s early legal work in the LGBT community formed the foundation for a unique range of services that became known as “Gay Family Law.” Smithson has come to the aid of a host of LGBT organizations through the years, guiding them through arcane red tape to achieve 501c3 status, creating bylaws, assisting with the acquisition of real property and aiding in LGBT adoptions. For many years, Smithson authored a legal-advice column, “The Philly Lawyer,” and wrote and presented the Public Broadcasting program “Gay People and the Law”.