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.

Pentagon to Allow Chaplains to Officiate Weddings for Gay and Lesbian Service Members

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:18pm
Last week, after nearly 18 years and 14,000 dismissals, the demise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" became official. Earlier today, the Pentagon made clear that military chaplains will be permitted to officiate at wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian service members in those states where such marriages are legally recognized. In addition, the Pentagon made clear that these marriages can be performed on military bases, as well as other Defense Department facilities.

ACLU Writes to UNESCO on Homophobia in U.S. Schools

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:27pm

Late last week, the ACLU wrote to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the problem of homophobic discrimination and harassment in U.S. public schools. In addition, we offered a model federal legislative…

Making It Better in the NFL

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:44pm

And here football fans thought, at least from our perspective, that one of the most important things the new NFL collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between team owners and players did was end the lockout and remove the ominous cloud of a possible…

New Legislation Shines Light on the Criminalization of HIV

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:18pm

Spit as a deadly weapon? As crazy as it sounds, in some states that is the reality that people living with HIV face.

On Friday afternoon, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation in Congress that will bring some much needed attention…

Effort to Repeal DOMA in Congress Gains Bipartisan Support

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

Early on Friday morning, it was announced that the legislative effort in Congress to repeal the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is now a bipartisan affair.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) became the first…

Sen. Kerry and Rep. Nadler Introduce Housing Non-Discrimination Legislation

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

This morning, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act in the Senate and House. This legislation would, among other things, amend both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal…

The Demise of DADT

The Demise of DADT

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:46pm

Today marks the official end of the discriminatory policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." For nearly 18 years, DADT forced lesbian, gay and bisexual service members to painstakingly hide their true selves, as well as their partners…

Hey NFL: Where Are the "It Gets Better" Videos?

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:42pm

Like football fans around the country, I'm anxiously awaiting the official start of the 2011 NFL season and another exciting Super Bowl run for my favorite team — Here We Go Steelers!

In addition to the start of a new football season,…

Potential Relief for Same-Sex Couples Facing the Threat of Deportation

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:11pm

Over the past several months, there has been a steady drum beat of devastating news stories involving same-sex, binational couples facing the threat of deportation, including the recent example of a gay California couple in which one partner, the…

NOM Marriage Pledge: A Discriminatory, Tone-Deaf Pitfall

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:45pm

The anti-gay National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been asking presidential hopefuls to sign a pledge stating, among other things, that they would:

support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution barring recognition of marriages involving…

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