Blog of Rights


Dena is legislative counsel at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. Sher joined the ACLU in 2011, after four years as the the state legislative counsel with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She worked with legislators, activists, and coalition partners on legislation, policy, and ballot initiatives that affected religious liberties, including school vouchers, healthcare refusals and religion in the workplace. She was also an Equal Justice Works fellow at Americans United. Her Equal Justice Works project investigated how programs funded under President Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative were implemented. Sher also worked on many of the cases litigated by AU during her fellowship.

Sher is a graduate of George Washington University Law School and Georgetown University.


ENDA Is Good, Could Be Even Better

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm
On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held an important hearing on workplace discrimination experienced by those who are or perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). The hearing addressed the need for federal legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), to create uniform protections for LGBT people in the workplace.   The sad reality remains that it is legal to fire or refuse to hire workers based on sexual orientation in 29 states and gender identity in 34 states.

Helping Trafficking Victims Isn’t Biased

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:44pm

Earlier this week, Michael Gerson, an op-ed writer for The Washington Post, penned a particularly troubling piece, accusing the Obama administration—and the ACLU—of anti-Catholic bias, because “the conscience protections of Catholics…

Special Exceptions for Religious Organizations Threaten Liberty

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:35am

Last week, at a congressional hearing on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States,” Rep. Jim Jordan asked a witness what the biggest threat to religious liberty is today. The response from Colby May, from the American Center…

Now Hiring (Some Exclusions May Apply)

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:29am

Right now, the White House is wholly focused on getting people back to work. That should be great news for the American people. Why is it then that the administration has a damaging policy that actually limits certain jobs to only certain people?…

Obama Says Employment Discrimination "A Very Difficult Issue." It's Not.

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:31am

At his July 22 town hall meeting, President Obama was asked about his 2008 declaration to reform the “faith-based initiative,” clearly stating that faith-based groups that receive taxpayer money to provide social services will no longer…

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