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.

Censorship at the Smithsonian

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm
Earlier this fall, "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" made waves when it opened at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery here in Washington. It was the first major museum exhibition to focus on the lives and works of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) in the making of modern American portraiture over the past century.
Executive Action Needed to End Employment Discrimination

Executive Action Needed to End Employment Discrimination

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:27am

The following was originally published on MSNBC.com:

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama promised to make 2014 a "year of action." The Obama's words offer reason for optimism, and he touched on a number of important civil…

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

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

In the late hours on Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 84-15, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.  Included within the sprawling annual defense authorization…

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:13am

Since the Supreme Court's landmark Windsor ruling last June striking down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), the federal government has moved, with commendable speed, in a myriad of areas to extend recognition to the marriages…

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…

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.…

What If the Interracial Family in the Cheerios Ad Consisted of Two Dads?

What If the Interracial Family in the Cheerios Ad Consisted of Two Dads?

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

I don't know about you, but I love the Cheerios ad featuring the adorable daughter of an interracial couple. It's both sweet and charming, but what I really appreciate is its depiction of a family that is rarely visible on TV even though it is certainly…

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).…

A Failure to Protect the Most Vulnerable Population Behind Bars

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:36am

Regular readers of The New York Times know that columnist Nicolas Kristof is a forceful advocate on behalf of human rights around the world. In his column on Thursday, January 28th — “Kids in Crisis (Behind Bars)” — he…

New National AIDS Strategy Will Address Discrimination Against Those Living with HIV/AIDS

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

The Obama administration will unveil a first of its kind national AIDS strategy on Tuesday, which took 15 months of work to complete. In a preview in Monday’s New York Times(which has obtained an advance copy of the national strategy), the administration…

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