former Vice President for Action
Rosemary Dempsey, elected Vice President for Action of the National Organization for Women in July of 1990, brought to this position twenty years of experience within NOW, as well as extensive involvement with the feminist and Lesbian and Gay movements.
Rosemary emerged as an activist during the student and civil rights movements and then evolved into the lesbian and feminist movements in the seventies. She served as NOW New Jersey President in the early seventies and has held the offices of chapter President, State Legislative coordinator, National Board member, Regional Director and Chair of the National Lesbian Rights Committee.
Rosemary's commitment and experience in the feminist movement reaches far beyond her involvement with NOW. She is founding member of "Womanspace" a battered woman's shelter in New Jersey; founding member of "New Jersey Women Take Back the Night," an organization whose primary goal was to generate public awareness and influence state lawmakers about violence against women; chaired a state wide coalition to pass anti-discrimination legislation in New Jersey; and was a long time National Board member of LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Rosemary earned national media attention in 1980 when she won the right to custody of her two children following a court challenge prompted by her sexual orientation. She won a similar challenge, to guardianship of her mother, in 1991.
Rosemary is a founding partner of the feminist law firm McGahen, Dempsey and Cagey. She was a trustee of the women's rights section of the New Jersey Bar Association for four years and Vice President of the Mercer County Association of Women Lawyers for five years.
Rosemary has a B.A. in Sociology from the College of New Rochelle in New York and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Rutgers Law School.
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