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.

The Congressional Evolution on DOMA

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:19am
There is an intriguing story behind the recent Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) headlines, one that mirrors trends in public opinion surveys, but involves a group you might not expect — members of Congress who voted for the law in 1996, but now favor its repeal.

Blood Donation Ban for Gay and Bisexual Men Under Review by HHS

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:54am

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided an important status update about ongoing research studies examining the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have ever had sex with other men since 1977.

Gay…

A Remarkable Week for LGBT Rights in Washington, D.C.

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:30pm

Most of the news coming out of Washington, DC this week has been all about debt ceilings, sweltering triple-digit temperatures and “heat domes.” However, there’s another important reason to take note of the week that was, as…

Senator Franken Skewers Anti-Gay Distortions at DOMA Hearing

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:11pm

Earlier today, at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s much-anticipated, landmark hearing on the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) took a witness from Focus on the Family to task for factual inaccuracies…

BREAKING: White House Endorses Respect for Marriage Act

BREAKING: White House Endorses Respect for Marriage Act

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

On the eve of a landmark hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the White House on Tuesday afternoon formally endorsed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA in its…

Landmark Hearing on DOMA Set

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:11pm

It’s official! Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a landmark congressional hearing on the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and how it harms tens of thousands of married gay and lesbian couples and…

Same Old Political Games: Seeking to Delay and Derail DADT Repeal

Same Old Political Games: Seeking to Delay and Derail DADT Repeal

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:38pm

Last week, during consideration of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act in the House of Representatives, congressional opponents of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) repeal succeeded in attaching two anti-gay, political, "red meat" amendments…

U.S. Senators to LGBT Youth: "It Gets Better"

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:24pm

On Wednesday morning, 13 members of the U.S. Senate delivered a video message of hope and encouragement to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young people across the country as part of the It Gets Better Project. Just as importantly,…

U.N. Human Rights Council: LGBT Rights Are Human Rights

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:56pm

On Friday, the U.N.'s Human Rights Council took a critical step forward for human rights by recognizing that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people around the world struggle against violence and discrimination every day and deserve…

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…

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