Blog of Rights

Joel
Engardio

Walling off the Witnesses

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 3:57pm
(Originally posted on the Washington Posts's On Faith blog.)

Supreme Court Briefing 2009–10 Term

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 5:57pm

ACLU lawyers met with the press who cover the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. recently to provide an overview of important cases during the 2009-10 term of the high court.

Watch ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro discuss United…

Internet Filters: Voluntary OK, Not Government Mandate

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 3:18pm

People are talking about internet content filtering, especially since the ACLU won its case against the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which tried to censor all speech about sex from the internet. But don’t be confused between voluntary use…

On Mormons, Marriage, Tea Cups and Kettles

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 2:57pm

The lights of local TV cameras seeking gay-on-the-street sound-bites illuminated the darker part of Broadway on the Upper West Side where thousands of people marched the other night chanting, "Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right."

I was one of them, upset and disillusioned that a right could be so easily eliminated for an entire group of people that included me. Sure, New York has never allowed same-sex marriage. But it was a right granted in California until a simple majority of voters decided that gay relationships weren't equal to their own.

I joined up with the march in progress at West 66th Street, in front of Manhattan's Mormon Temple. The spot was significant because California's constitutional amendment was bankrolled largely by the Mormon Church, which urged its members nationwide to donate tens of millions of dollars to stop gay couples and their families from receiving the same legal recognition and protections everyone else enjoys.

Obama's Child Soldiers

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 5:42pm

Six days after the inauguration of President Obama, the U.S. is scheduled to begin the first trial of a child soldier accused of war crimes since World War II. This video shows why President Obama must take swift action to end the unconstitutional…

Russia's Bans on Jehovah's Witnesses

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 2:28pm

(Originally posted on the Washington Post's On Faith blog.)

If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton draws inspiration from Eleanor Roosevelt the same way she famously did as First Lady, maybe Clinton will speak out against the blow to the freedoms…

Right to Marry: Yes We Should!

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 12:11pm
Three couples. Three minutes. They show us the human cost of denying gay and lesbian couples the fundamental right to marry. All couples should be allowed to say "Yes We Can" to marriage. If you get an error message while attempting to view this clip,…

9/11 Families Ask for True Justice

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 1:38pm

A new ACLU video features family members of 9/11 victims calling for federal trials of terrorism suspects.

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google…

Justice Denied: Voices from Guantánamo

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 10:31am

Most Americans have only seen Guantánamo detainees as one-dimensional caricatures. But a new ACLU video features original footage in which the men talk about their lives — before, after and during their detention by the U.S.

Good News for Gay Christians

By Joel Engardio, ACLU at 11:39am

(Originally published in On Faith at washingtonpost.com.)

There's an online group of 13,000 gays who profess their belief in Christ. The Gay Christian Network is a bit of a miracle, given how hostile some religions are to gays.

While fundamental ministers decry the "homosexual agenda" and gay activists deplore "ex-gay treatment," the members of GCN must live the tug-of-war over their sexual identity and faith. That's why gay Christians will benefit from a recent report by the American Psychological Association that says efforts to change someone's sexual orientation don't work.

This isn't news to the many GCN members who are survivors of the programs that failed to turn them straight. But it might be comforting to a number of teens in the online network who fear being sent to a "reparative therapy" camp by their parents. A new generation of gay Christians could be spared pointless misery now that the word's largest association of psychologists has definitively declared ex-gay therapy is quackery.

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