Blog of Rights

Monica Jones at a press conference

Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:19am
In Phoenix, Arizona, you can be arrested for repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation. This may, under Phoenix law, be evidence that you are "manifesting" an intent to engage in prostitution. Of course, this could also be evidence that you are lost or canvassing for a political group or simply talking about the weather. The difference between "innocent" and "criminal" behavior often comes down to how a person looks. Transgender women of color are often profiled by police as engaging in sex work for simply being outside and going about their daily routines. Amnesty International documented this disproportionate targeting by police of transgender women as sex workers in a 2005 report. "[S]ubjective and prejudiced perceptions of transgender women as sex workers often play a significant role in officers' decisions to stop and arrest transgender women," the report concluded. One woman told Amnesty, "'No tenemos el derecho a vivir.' (We don't have the right to live.)."
Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

By Albert Knox at 10:14am

In 2011, the ACLU and the ACLU of Alabama sued the Alabama Department of Corrections for discrimination against inmates living with HIV. Alabama is one of only two states, along with South Carolina, that continue to segregate inmates living with HIV…

Jetliner landing

Ebola: Travel Bans, Quarantines, and Political Courage

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:05am

The political reaction to Ebola has been a study in contrasts. On the one hand, we see some leaders insecurely trying to prove their “Ebola-fighting bona fides” by racing to go beyond what public health experts recommend. Some are actually fanning…

A Victory for Free Speech from the Supreme Court

A Victory for Free Speech from the Supreme Court

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project & Tara Norris, Women's Rights Project, ACLU at 11:56am

Yesterday, in an important First Amendment decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the government may not require federal grant recipients to endorse the government's policy positions. The decision in Agency for International Development v. Alliance…

New National AIDS Strategy Will Address Discrimination Against Those Living with HIV/AIDS

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:04pm

The Obama administration will unveil a first of its kind national AIDS strategy on Tuesday, which took 15 months of work to complete. In a preview in Monday’s New York Times(which has obtained an advance copy of the national strategy), the administration…

Fighting Ignorance About HIV

Fighting Ignorance About HIV

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 3:20pm

Decades into the HIV epidemic, some government policies continue to misunderstand the actual risk of HIV transmission and to ignore the urgent health care needs of people living with HIV. Here are a few highlights of the ACLU's work on fighting these…

A Policy of Shame: the Fight to End HIV Segregation in Prison Continues

A Policy of Shame: the Fight to End HIV Segregation in Prison Continues

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:01am

Alabama segregates all prisoners with HIV, and houses them separately from all other prisoners – it’s an HIV ghetto.  As soon as you walk into Limestone Correctional Facility, the prison where Alabama houses all male prisoners with…

Biohazard sign

Treat Ebola as a Public Health Issue, Not a National Security Matter

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:09pm

Since the government announced the introduction of new Ebola screening measures at border checkpoints at five U.S. airports, we’ve been getting queries asking what our position is on such measures from a civil liberties standpoint.

This is…

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:12am

We are thirty years into the HIV epidemic. Surely, by now, stigmatization, isolation and discrimination against people living with HIV should be a relic of the past. Yet up until today, categorical HIV segregation – one of the ugliest remnants of…

Blood Donation Ban for Gay and Bisexual Men Under Review by HHS

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:54am

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided an important status update about ongoing research studies examining the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have ever had sex with other men since 1977.

Gay…