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.)."
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…

Photography Businesses Don’t Have a First Amendment Right to Discriminate

Photography Businesses Don’t Have a First Amendment Right to Discriminate

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 10:14am

Today the Supreme Court turned away a photography business's claim that it had a First Amendment right to break New Mexico public accommodations law and discriminate against gay customers.

No court has ever held that a business has a First…

"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…

Half-Baked Complaint Alleges Discrimination Where There is None

Half-Baked Complaint Alleges Discrimination Where There is None

By Amanda Goad, LGBT Project at 10:17am

When Christian educator Bill Jack ordered a cake last year from Azucar, a Denver bakery, he had a special decoration request for owner Marjorie Silva. He wanted the cake to say "God Hates Gays" with a drawing to match. Silva refused, and now she's…

Shana, Megan, and Jax

North Carolina: Let Me Take Care of My Son

By Shana Carignan at 11:25am

I live in Greensboro, North Carolina, with my family. My wife, Megan, and I flew to Texas to meet our son, Jax, over 4 years ago, who is now 6 ½. We have raised him to understand that his moms love him and would do anything for him.

But Megan…

Heterosexuals Only: Sign of the Times?

Heterosexuals Only: Sign of the Times?

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 11:13am

The Associated Press published a poll yesterday that reported many Americans say it's okay for wedding-related businesses to refuse to provide service to same-sex couples based on religious views.

Ouch. That amounts, in essence, to blessing…

Fired for Being Trans

Fired for Being Trans

By Patricia Dawson at 2:58pm

The day I got my driver's license with the gender marked "F" and my new legal name was one of the best days of my life. I was assigned male at birth, and my parents named me Steven. But I'd known for many years that I am a woman, and now I had the…

This Is What Happens When the Secretary of Defense is in Charge of Your Medical Care

This Is What Happens When the Secretary of Defense is in Charge of Your Medical Care

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:08am

When Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on August 21, 2013, she was immediately worried that she would be denied desperately needed medical care for gender dysphoria.

So far, her worst fears of suffering without treatment have…

My Big Gay Illegal Wedding Winners!

Meet the Five Winning Couples of "My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding!"

By Alicia Gay, ACLU at 4:39pm

Almost 200,000 supporters of the freedom to marry voted for couples from across the country, to win the "My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding" contest. The winning couples will each receive $5,000 towards the wedding of their dreams as part of our campaign…