Blog of Rights

A New Hero for Transgender Rights

A New Hero for Transgender Rights

By Rachel Healy, Director of Public Education and Communications, ACLU of Maine at 2:50pm
The girl, known in court documents as Susan Doe but now known to the world as Nicole Maines, was the subject of a court case over the rights of transgender students to use the correct bathroom for their gender. And last week she won. On January 30, 2014 the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Nicole's school violated the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA) when it required her to use the staff bathroom rather than the bathroom used by all other female students.
6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:54pm

Last night's State of the Union address covered many issues important to Americans, including economic inequality, winding down foreign wars, climate change, pay equity, closing Guantanamo, voting rights, and much more.

But from a civil liberties…

Equality in the Culture and Equality in the Courts

Equality in the Culture and Equality in the Courts

By Matt Coles, Director, ACLU Center for Equality at 3:22pm

In the last 25 years or so, the attitude of Courts toward people making rights claims about sexual orientation has undergone a stark reversal. The Supreme Court of 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick thought it "at best facetious" to claim that the constitution…

Aloha Marriage!

Aloha Marriage!

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 6:06pm

Today the Hawaii Senate cast the final vote needed to advance the marriage bill to the desk of the governor, who will sign in the next day or two, sealing Hawaii's position as the 16th state with the freedom to marry. This brings to a close an intense…

Marriage in Illinois – The Momentum Continues!

Marriage in Illinois – The Momentum Continues!

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 10:05am

Yesterday the Illinois legislature gave same-sex couples the freedom to marry, making Illinois the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to do so, and the 9th new marriage state in just the last 12 months. With Illinois, over 37% of the American…

The Country's Evolution on Marriage

The Country's Evolution on Marriage

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 2:20pm

Earlier this week, the New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of six same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry. I've been doing advocacy around marriage…

Anti-Gay Argle-Bargle

Anti-Gay Argle-Bargle

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:23am

For far too long, the dual discrimination of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" dishonored the service and sacrifice of gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces. But that's all in the past now, right?

Not if some…

Championing 4,000 At-Risk Kids by Standing Up for Greg & Stillman

Championing 4,000 At-Risk Kids by Standing Up for Greg & Stillman

By James Esseks, Director, ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & AIDS Project at 11:13am

Greg and Stillman Stewart have a knack for nurturing children with serious needs. The two men have been together...

Dee's Triumph: One of the Most Important Trans Victories You Never Heard Of

Dee's Triumph: One of the Most Important Trans Victories You Never Heard Of

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 2:43pm

On August 21, 1989, Dee Farmer, a black, transgender woman, sued prison officials for the "mental anguish, psychological damage, humil[i]ation, swollen face, cuts and bruises to her mouth and lips and a cut on her back, as well as some bleeding" that…

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00pm

Forty years ago today, "Battling Bella" Abzug, a member of Congress from New York and a trailblazer for women, introduced a bill to protect gay people from discrimination for the first time in American history. The Equality Act of 1974 would have banned…