Blog of Rights

Ian S.
Thompson

Ian Thompson (@iantDCis a Legislative Representative in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. In this capacity, Thompson works to advance the organization’s civil liberties and civil rights agenda in Congress and the executive branch by focusing on LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS and sex education. Prior to joining the ACLU in January 2006, Thompson interned in the Washington, D.C., office of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). A 2005 graduate of Penn State University, Thompson holds a degree in International Politics.

DOMA's Defeat a Clear Victory for Same-Sex Binational Couples

DOMA's Defeat a Clear Victory for Same-Sex Binational Couples

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:29pm
As pissed-off and heartbroken as advocates for LGBT rights were over the failure to include same-sex binational couples in the Senate immigration bill last month, Wednesday's defeat of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" at the Supreme Court was a clear and decisive victory for these committed, loving couples.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).…

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

VICTORY! Social Security Administration Drops Surgery Requirement for Gender Change

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

Late last week, after nearly a decade of advocacy led by our coalition partners at the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Social Security Administration (SSA) updated its policy for changing gender designation in Social Security records.…

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Steven Waddy, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:55pm

While science has vastly advanced since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic more than 30 years ago, the ways in which many criminal laws treat people living with HIV look like throwbacks to the dark days of the past when fear and misinformation…

Momentum Continues to Build for Narrowing ENDA's Religious Exemption

Momentum Continues to Build for Narrowing ENDA's Religious Exemption

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:28pm

The momentum behind efforts – strongly supported by the ACLU – to narrow the current sweeping, unprecedented religious exemption...

Senator Portman, ENDA's Religious Exemption Is Already Too Broad

Senator Portman, ENDA's Religious Exemption Is Already Too Broad

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:18pm

At an event hosted by BuzzFeed on Monday night, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that he totally supports the concept of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because, "This is about discrimination in the workplace. And there should be no discrimination…

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:08am

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times published a powerful editorial arguing that a blank check for religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – to discriminate in employment against LGBT people should not be the price paid…

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Remarkably, there are only 16 states that currently have workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This leaves LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination in well over half of the country–an unacceptable situation…

The Single Most Important Step Congress Could Take to Improve the Lives of LGBT Students

The Single Most Important Step Congress Could Take to Improve the Lives of LGBT Students

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:48am

For those who work each and every day to secure basic fairness and equality under the law for LGBT Americans, the pace of positive...

Historic Shift in Congress against DOMA Mirrors Shift in Public Opinion in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

Historic Shift in Congress against DOMA Mirrors Shift in Public Opinion in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:24am

On Friday, 212 members of Congress, 172 representatives and 40 senators, filed an historic brief in support of Edie Windsor's challenge to the discriminatory and unconstitutional so-called Defense of Marriage Act's (DOMA) exclusion of married same-sex…

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