Blog of Rights


Constance Contest: Design the Logo for our Prom Action!

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 1:42pm
We’re planning an online day of action to support Constance McMillen and every other student fighting for the right to be themselves at school. We need your help designing a logo!
Mississippi High School Insists on "Straights-Only" Prom

Mississippi High School Insists on "Straights-Only" Prom

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 6:44pm

In the era of Will & Grace, Portia & Ellen and Neil & John, it’s hard to believe that there’s a public school in America that would insist on holding a “straights-only” prom or else none at all. But sure enough,…

State Legislative Round-Up: Youth & Schools and Transgender

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 5:10pm

Just as the school year ended, Oregon passed a law adding sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to its anti-bullying law, becoming the seventh state to specifically protect LGBT students from harassment. One month later, North Carolina…

State Legislative Round-up: Relationships

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 1:20pm

We’re posting a series of three posts outlining the progress made in state legislatures on LGBT issues in 2009. The first installment covered parenting. This second installment covers recognition of same-sex relationships.

The most visible…

State Legislative Round-up: Discrimination and Parenting

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 12:03pm

We’re posting a series of three posts outlining the progress made in state legislatures on LGBT issues in 2009. This first installment covers legislation around discrimination and same-sex parenting.


After 10 years…

One Big Disappointment, Lots of Victories

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 1:25pm

I’m not going to try to spin it: Our loss in Maine yesterday, where voters rejected a law that would have given same-sex couples the right to marry, was deeply disappointing and discouraging. All of us here at the LGBT Project started yesterday…

Dialing for Marriage

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 4:54pm

Last week I wrote about the voter referendum that could repeal marriage for same-sex couples in Maine and suggested taking a volunteer vacation to help the No on 1 campaign. Now I can do you one better: next weekend you can help protect marriage in…

Marriage, Maps and Maine

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 12:59pm

The first marriages of same-sex couples in Vermont last Tuesday were just the impetus I needed to finish up our new marriage laws and relationship recognition maps. Like a 5-year-old with a new pack of crayons, I happily filled in states with blue…

Don't Ask. Don't Tell. Don't Work.

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 3:30pm

Earlier this month, Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq veteran, West Point graduate and Arabic linguist, was dismissed from his position with the Army National Guard for publicly acknowledging that he is gay. His dismissal was due to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,…

Why the Ballot Box and Not the Courts Should Be the Next Step on Marriage in California

By Sam Ritchie, ACLU at 4:36pm

There's been a lot of media coverage of the statement put out by a coalition of LGBT groups advising against a federal same-sex marriage lawsuit, especially in light of just such a lawsuit being filed in California.  We've seen a lot of discussion of the statement and the lawsuit, but not everyone has seen the statement itself.  Here's your chance:

Now that the California Supreme Court has refused to strike down Proposition 8, we need to go back to the voters. Since we lost Proposition 8 just six months ago, and since a ballot initiative to repeal is likely to require a huge investment in time and money, it is tempting to at least try a federal lawsuit first. But it’s a temptation we should resist. It is by no means clear that a federal challenge to Prop. 8 can win now. And an unsuccessful challenge may delay marriage even longer, not only in California but in other states, and seriously damage the rights of LGBT people on many other important issues.

Rather than filing premature lawsuits, we need to talk to our friends, family and neighbors, and help them understand why denial of the freedom to marry is wrong. We need to build a vigorous, aggressive campaign to overturn Prop 8 and restore the freedom to marry in California. This is the moment to convince California and America that we should have the freedom to marry.

History says the odds at the Supreme Court now are not so good.

Statistics image