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.

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:35pm
Edward Snowden recently pointed out how the victories of the LGBT movement in this country might never have happened if the government had the ability to conduct “perfect surveillance.” For decades, LGBT people had to fight official government persecution, including aggressive surveillance and targeting by law enforcement.

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…

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:13pm

While the American workplace is often notoriously inhospitable to transgender Americans, the federal government last month moved decisively to change that. In a new memorandum, the Department of Justice explicitly clarified that gender identity discrimination…

Victory! Title IX Protects Transgender Students

Victory! Title IX Protects Transgender Students

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:43am

Good news for transgender students was hidden in the White House's big news on sexual violence in schools and on college campuses on Tuesday. This latest breakthrough comes during an often fraught time of the school year for transgender and gender…

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…

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).…

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…

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

Did you know that there are just 18 states that have explicit workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, or that a mere 13 states have such protections in place for LGBT students?

On Tuesday, the director of the ACLU's Washington…

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…

"Defend" Marriage by Respecting Marriages

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:31pm

This morning, the majority on the House Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee convened a hearing entitled “Defending Marriage.” The hearing was little more than an opportunity for Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) supporters…

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