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.

Department of Education — Students Have a Legal Right to Form GSAs

Department of Education — Students Have a Legal Right to Form GSAs

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:27pm
On Tuesday morning, the U.S. Department of Education issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to school districts across the country reminding them that students have the right under the federal Equal Access Act to form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). GSAs are student-run extracurricular clubs that bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and straight students to support each other and promote tolerance, and are common in public school districts throughout the nation. The announcement of the letter came on the closing day of the first-ever Federal LGBT Youth Summit last week.

Labor Department Delivers for Trans Federal Employees

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:30am

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took an important step forward for its transgender employees by adding gender identity to the department's internal equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies. The Labor Department will now explicitly…

The Continuing Need to Protect LGBT Students Across the Country

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:23am

As you may already know, yesterday we announced the settlement of Constance McMillen’s lawsuit against her Mississippi high school for canceling the prom rather than allowing her attend with her girlfriend as her date and wear a tuxedo. 

While…

Ms. McMillen Goes to Washington!

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:40pm

It was quite the day in Washington, D.C., yesterday for ACLU client Constance McMillen. Constance made headlines this spring when her Mississippi high school took the extraordinary step of canceling the school prom rather than allow her to go with…

Hate Crimes Mark-Up - Round #2

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:24pm

So it took two days, but all in all, a very nice result. After fending off all of the poison-pill amendments, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 earlier today.

The next…

Up In Smoke — Failures of Bush Administration Drug Policies

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:54pm

The Bush Administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has had what can only be described as an unhealthy obsession with marijuana for years now. ONDCP has spent millions in tax dollars on anti-marijuana ads, for example,…

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:32pm

Following Wednesday's historic decision by the Supreme Court striking down the heart...

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…

Following Historic Speech, Working to Realize the Promise of LGBT Equality Under the Law

Following Historic Speech, Working to Realize the Promise of LGBT Equality Under the Law

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:02pm

President Obama made history on Monday by infusing his second inaugural address with a clarion call for LGBT equality under the law. First, he linked the equality struggles for women’s rights, African American civil rights, and LGBT rights through…

Working Towards an LGBT-Inclusive Platform

Working Towards an LGBT-Inclusive Platform

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:28pm

On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reported that the draft 2012 Democratic National Platform includes, as part of an overall endorsement of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, a call for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in Congress. …

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