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…

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…

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…

9/11's Legacy of Religious Discrimination

9/11's Legacy of Religious Discrimination

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:23pm

It's no secret that, after 9/11, a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry washed over the country. The intensity of that prejudice has sustained it for a decade, and, in many ways, anti-Muslim sentiment and fear of Islam seem even stronger and more deeply…

If You Want To Fit In At This Public School Just Become Christian

If You Want To Fit In At This Public School Just Become Christian

By Scott Lane at 3:43pm

Like many people I have encountered who were raised in a Christian environment, I was indifferent to what I felt were minor infractions of the law that protects the separation of church and state. What's the big deal if teachers promote God in public…

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

By Bear Atwood, ACLU at 4:57pm

Today, in a letter to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the ACLU and United Sikhs called on state officials to investigate the harassment of a Sikh commercial truck driver pulled over early this year for a flat tire.  After…

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:24am

This piece originally appeared at TomDispatch.

The shadow of a new threat seems to be darkening the national security landscape: the lone-wolf terrorist.

"The lone wolf is the new nightmare," wrote Washington Post columnist Charles…

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

Religion Isn’t a Free Pass to Discriminate Against Employees

By Christina Brandt-Young, Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project & Jenny Lee, Staff Attorney, American Civil Liberties Union at 5:49pm

Across the country teachers at religiously affiliated schools are being fired for their reproductive choices.  What’s worse, the schools are unapologetic, claiming they have the right to discriminate because of their religious beliefs.

Emily…