Blog of Rights


First Hearing Held in the Breast Cancer Gene Patents Challenge

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 1:28pm
Fittingly, on the eve of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, plaintiffs had their first hearing in federal court yesterday in their challenge to the breast cancer gene patents. The government's granting of exclusive rights to the BRCA1 and 2 human genes and Myriad Genetics' aggressive enforcement of its patent rights means that some women cannot access genetic testing to find out if they are at increased risk for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, and that no one can get a second opinion on their test results. It also means that Myriad controls whether scientific researchers can study the BRCA genes or develop new genetic tests.

Some Priorities for Obama’s New Violence Against Women Advisor

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 6:29pm

Last Friday Vice President Biden announced the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, the first time such a position has existed. We welcome the high-level attention this will bring to violence against women,…

A Call to Action for Women of All Beliefs

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 12:27pm

Lisa Valentine's arrest on Tuesday is yet another example of the discrimination that Muslim women who wear hijab (headscarves) face on a daily basis. Valentine was told that she could not enter the courthouse in Douglasville, Georgia, unless she removed…

GAO Report Highlights State Department Abandonment of Domestic Workers

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 2:32pm

Earlier this week, the Government Accountability Office released a human rights report (PDF) documenting the abuse and exploitation of domestic workers by foreign diplomats in the U.S. As described by Kirk Semple on the New York Times blog, this…

Fair Housing Settlement a Victory for Domestic Violence Survivors

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 3:19pm

The ACLU received this month a settlement compliance report from Management Systems, Inc., the Detroit property management company that illegally evicted Tanica Lewis in 2006 because of property damage caused by her abusive ex-boyfriend, against whom…

Three Women's Rights Victories on the Eve of Women's History Month

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 4:03pm
This has been an exciting week for women's rights in the courts, a fitting lead-in to Women's History Month, which begins tomorrow, March 1. In three victories this week, the ACLU Women's Rights Project continued to chip away at the gender inequity that…
Three New Marriage States in Two Weeks – All Eyes Are On You, Illinois!

Three New Marriage States in Two Weeks – All Eyes Are On You, Illinois!

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 10:34am

Yesterday, Minnesota became the 12th state in the country to approve a law allowing same-sex couples to marry. This comes on the heels of Rhode Island and Delaware approving freedom to marry laws in the last two weeks, and historic victories at the…

Election Day for Marriage: What’s at Stake

Election Day for Marriage: What’s at Stake

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 12:53pm

America goes to the polls today, and as we all know, there is a great deal at stake – from ballot measures on an array of civil liberties issues, to congressional seats, to the make-up of state legislatures, and of course, the presidency.

Ratify CEDAW. For Our Daughters.

Ratify CEDAW. For Our Daughters.

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 5:56pm

I was three months old when the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on December 18, 1979. Though I was happily unaware of both the discrimination that women and girls…

First Ever Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Becomes Law

By Rahul Saksena, New York Civil Liberties Union & Selene Kaye, ACLU at 4:48pm

Earlier today, New York Gov. David Paterson signed the first law ever in the United States to give domestic workers the same protections that most other workers have enjoyed for decades. The enactment of the New York Domestic Workers Bill of…

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