Blog of Rights

A Jury of Your Peers – The Right to a Jury Trial Free from Discrimination

By Patrick DePoy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:17pm
Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ) recently introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 5848) to prohibit discrimination against any juror on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Congressman Rothman stated, “[t]he fact that it is still lawful for lawyers to dismiss potential jurors solely on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity is wrong and has to change.” There is no rational relationship between one’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin or financial status and one’s ability to administer justice as a juror. 
School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 10:11am

Jocelyn came to the United States when she was six years old, brought by a single mom who wanted her to go to school and have a better life than she did. Today, at age 14, Jocelyn is an honors student in Alabama, where she hopes to become the first in her family to graduate from high school, and to one day become a doctor. Jocelyn is striving to live the American Dream. 

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…

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:58am

While Chelsea Manning's announcement of her gender identity confounded the press, the transgender community in New York was reeling over the loss of yet another young transgender woman of color to violence. It is impossible to separate the bias and…

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…

Banned Books Week 2013: Books about LGBT Families Remain Targets of Censorship

Banned Books Week 2013: Books about LGBT Families Remain Targets of Censorship

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 1:54pm

2013 has been a landmark year for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. In June the Supreme Court struck down...

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police

By Sandra Park, ACLU at 3:24pm

Last year in Norristown, Pa., Lakisha Briggs' boyfriend physically assaulted her, and the police arrested him. But in a cruel turn of events...

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…

Mississippi - Discrimination is discrimination: GIVE IT UP!

As Mississippi Makes Clear, the Fight is Not Over

By Kelsey Townsend, Reproductive Freedom Project, ACLU at 4:25pm

Last night, the Mississippi legislature passed a law that could open the door to allow individuals and businesses to discriminate in the name of religion -- despite opposition from state religious leaders, legal scholars, everyday Mississippians, and…

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

In the late hours on Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 84-15, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.  Included within the sprawling annual defense authorization…