Blog of Rights

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:35pm
Edward Snowden recently pointed out how the victories of the LGBT movement in this country might never have happened if the government had the ability to conduct “perfect surveillance.” For decades, LGBT people had to fight official government persecution, including aggressive surveillance and targeting by law enforcement.
From Edie to Jim – Love at the Supreme Court

From Edie to Jim – Love at the Supreme Court

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 1:37pm

“You did it, honey.”

That is what Edie Windsor imagined her late spouse, Thea Spyer, would have said after their love story brought down the core of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor. Edie and Thea did do it.…

Chelsea Manning Fights for Her Right to Exist. She Shouldn't Have To

Chelsea Manning Fights for Her Right to Exist. She Shouldn't Have To

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 12:51pm

We shouldn't have to keep defending our right to exist.

From inside the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she is serving a 35-year prison sentence, that is precisely what convicted Wikileaker Chelsea…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Will Justice Scalia Be the Savior of the Fair Housing Act?

Will Justice Scalia Be the Savior of the Fair Housing Act?

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:08pm

Going into this week's argument in Inclusive Communities Project, a Supreme Court case that will determine the future of the Fair Housing Act, all eyes were on Justice Kennedy. It's often Justice Kennedy who casts the deciding vote in cases about the…

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…

Will the Supreme Court Demolish An Iconic Civil Rights Law?

Will the Supreme Court Demolish An Iconic Civil Rights Law?

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:16am

We began this week by celebrating the 85th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth, but today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important case that could knock down a crucial racial and economic pillar of justice built during the…