Blog of Rights

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 its services to the general public but refuses to take pictures for wedding or commitment ceremonies involving same-sex couples. New Mexico is one of 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that prohibit businesses who hold themselves out to the general public from discriminating against customers based on their sexual orientation. But Elane Photography argues that the law cannot be applied to its services because – unlike the services provided by a restaurant or retail store – photography is a form of expression and forcing Elane Photography to provide services on an equal basis would therefore unconstitutionally “compel speech.”
Why Utah Is No Utopia for LGBT Equality Despite Progress

Why Utah Is No Utopia for LGBT Equality Despite Progress

By Rose Saxe, AIDS Project at 1:00pm

The passage of a bill in Utah last week that will protect gay and transgender people from discrimination in housing and employment is a timely and important achievement: It ensures that the LGBT community cannot be singled out for unequal…

‘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…

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

How Far Has The Women's Movement Moved In The Last 40 Years?

By Lenora M. Lapidus, Women's Rights Project at 3:40pm

Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) board of directors determined that women's rights should be...

A Unanimous Decision for Equality

A Unanimous Decision for Equality

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 4:41pm

When a business opens its doors to the public it must comply with anti-discrimination laws, even if doing so offends a business owner's religious beliefs. That's the bottom line in today's unanimous decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court holding…

Just Hope You Don't Have to Pee in Florida

Just Hope You Don't Have to Pee in Florida

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 3:23pm

Getting arrested for using the bathroom could become the law in Florida.

Using a public restroom is something most people have done. For many non-transgender people, the experience might be gross or inconvenient, but most people don't have…

It Was Never About the Cake

It Was Never About the Cake

By Deborah Munn at 4:00pm

Today I celebrate the decision from Colorado administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer who found that my son and his now-husband could not be discriminated against by a bakery.

I have an incredible son named Charlie Craig, the oldest of my…

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…

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…

In Memory of a Social Justice Warrior: LGBT Rights Champion Carolyn Wagner

By Chris Hampton, ACLU LGBT Project at 11:50am

Last week, the ACLU mourned the death of Carolyn Wagner, who died on January 18 after a long battle with cancer, hepatitis, and liver failure.

Carolyn and her husband Bill are the parents of a gay son who was brutally harassed and…