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.)."
"I'm a Boy, so Why Won't My School Allow Me to Use the Boys' Bathroom?"

"I'm a Boy, so Why Won't My School Allow Me to Use the Boys' Bathroom?"

By Gavin Grimm at 2:44pm

In the summer of my freshman year I got the courage to tell my mother something that I had known for a long time. I told her that I was a boy. She had nothing but love and support for me.

By the time school started, I was ready to go back as…

Businesses Do Not Have a License to Discriminate

Businesses Do Not Have a License to Discriminate

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 4:24pm

Yesterday, the ACLU and the ACLU of New Mexico filed an amicus brief in Elane Photography, LLC v. Willock, an important antidiscrimination case pending before the New Mexico Supreme Court. Elane Photography is a wedding photography studio that advertises…

Not One More

Not One More

By Amanda Goad, LGBT Project at 10:51am

Her name was Lamia Beard. She was from Virginia.

Her name was Taja DeJesus. She was from California.

Her name was Penny Proud. She was from Louisiana.

Her name was Ty Underwood. She was from Texas.

Her name was Yazmin…

What a Black Armband Means, Forty Years Later

By Mary Beth Tinker at 1:21pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Just before Christmas in 1965, a group of students in Des Moines, Iowa wore black armbands to school to mourn the dead in Vietnam. I was 13 and in eighth grade. The nightly TV news, with scenes of flaming…

The End Game Is Here for Marriage Equality

The End Game Is Here for Marriage Equality

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 4:33pm

This is it – the end game in the longstanding campaign to win the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide is upon us. The U.S. Supreme Court has just announced it will hear freedom-to-marry cases in all four states in the Sixth Circuit-…

Cause for Optimism During Weeks of Tragedy for the Trans Community

Cause for Optimism During Weeks of Tragedy for the Trans Community

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 1:35pm

It seems basic enough to ask that one be treated like a human being – that a person’s dignity be honored in life and death.

But tragically for too many transgender people that is still a far off dream.

The past few weeks have witnessed…

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…

Tennessee Principal's Reaction to GSA T-Shirt Raises the Question: Who's Really Causing the Disruption Here?

Tennessee Principal's Reaction to GSA T-Shirt Raises the Question: Who's Really Causing the Disruption Here?

By Amanda Goad, LGBT Project at 1:35pm

Students can express whatever ideas they want through their clothing as long as they don't cause a "substantial disruption."

Hello, My Name Is NOT "Gaytard." How May I Help You?

Hello, My Name Is NOT "Gaytard." How May I Help You?

By Tyler Brandt at 12:01pm

I've been out to my family and friends since I was in the 5th grade. I'm not ashamed of being gay, and I don't hide who I am from anyone.

After school ended last semester, I wanted to find a summer job for the usual teenage reasons: spending…