Blog of Rights

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm
A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill always touches on a range of important ACLU issues, primarily those at the intersection of national security and civil liberties, and, this year, sexual assault in the military. But, we, as the ACLU lobbyists who focus on freedom of religion and belief and LGBT rights, weren't left out of this annual summertime rite. Here are a few of the things we saw – good, bad, and ugly.
My Life Under NYPD Surveillance: A Brooklyn Student and Charity Leader on Fear and Mistrust

My Life Under NYPD Surveillance: A Brooklyn Student and Charity Leader on Fear and Mistrust

By Asad Dandia, Activist at 10:18am

My name is Asad Dandia although friends know me as Ace. I am an American citizen, born in Brooklyn, where I have lived my whole life...

ACLU Sues NYPD Over Unconstitutional Muslim Surveillance Program

ACLU Sues NYPD Over Unconstitutional Muslim Surveillance Program

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:14am

The ACLU, together with the NYCLU and CUNY's CLEAR Project, filed a lawsuit today challenging the New York Police Department's unconstitutional policy and practice of targeting entire Muslim communities for discriminatory and suspicionless surveillance.…

Religious Liberty and Inclusion

Religious Liberty and Inclusion

By Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus, NAACP at 9:42am

By the mid-1960s, the civil rights movement had made significant cultural, legal and political progress in advancing the cause of racial...

A Victory for Workers, a Victory for Families

A Victory for Workers, a Victory for Families

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 11:42am

This week, an Ohio federal jury awarded Christa Dias $171,000 after she was fired from her part-time teaching jobs at two religious schools. Dias had alleged that she was fired for becoming pregnant while unmarried. In response, the schools and the…

A Wedding Cake For Fido & Fluffy But Not For Dave & Charlie?

A Wedding Cake For Fido & Fluffy But Not For Dave & Charlie?

By Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate, ACLU of Colorado & John Krieger, Communications and Outreach Director, ACLU of Colorado at 12:03pm

Imagine being told that the love between you and your partner is less legitimate than a dog wedding. Or having your commitment to one another compared to pedophilia.

Stephanie Schmalz and her partner, Jeanine, wanted to order some cupcakes…

As Legal Fight Over Contraception Reaches Critical Moment, Where Will The Courts Stand?

As Legal Fight Over Contraception Reaches Critical Moment, Where Will The Courts Stand?

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 11:50am

Nearly 60 lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging the federal rule that employers include contraception...

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

The LA Times Agrees – ENDA’s Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:08am

On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times published a powerful editorial arguing that a blank check for religiously affiliated organizations – far beyond houses of worship – to discriminate in employment against LGBT people should not be the price paid…

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

Protecting and Serving All, Regardless of Faith

By Edward L. Smith, Former Chief of Police at 4:47pm

As a former police chief of numerous Oklahoma towns, including Seminole, Clinton, Blackwell, Owasso, Bethany, and Chickasha, I have seen officers disciplined for a variety of insubordinate acts. During my 35 years in law enforcement, however, I have…