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.

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 claims are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This is another important step forward in the ongoing fight for basic fairness and equal treatment under the law for transgender Americans.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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).…

Let's Be Clear: Transgender Discrimination IS Sex Discrimination

Let's Be Clear: Transgender Discrimination IS Sex Discrimination

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:10pm

Recently, the ACLU and numerous allied coalition partners wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to request that HHS issue guidance to make clear that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on sex…

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:36am

This piece originally appeared at Slate's Outward blog.

"Hands up, don't shoot!" "We can't breathe!"

With the backdrop of a national, youth-led movement demanding reform of a system of policing that too often approaches communities…

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.…

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Remarkably, there are only 16 states that currently have workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This leaves LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination in well over half of the country–an unacceptable situation…

Statistics image