Blog of Rights

"Hey Baby:" Enduring Street Harassment

"Hey Baby:" Enduring Street Harassment

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU & Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 3:46pm
I'm nearly 50. I'm tremendously fortunate. I live in a safe neighborhood, I am comfortable, and I have the privilege of a terrific education and opportunities in life. I am not timid — I have spent much of my life suing states for violating women's rights. But when I think about Women's History Month, I think about the ways in which all too often, as I walk on the streets, I put my head down, how I feel the street is not my place. And I think about how little I and other women talk about this.
Don't Segregate Boys and Girls in Classrooms

Don't Segregate Boys and Girls in Classrooms

By Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Stony Brook University at 11:35am

Is your daughter a tomboy? Your son not especially into football? Does your daughter excel at math...

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…

Happy Birthday 19th Amendment!

By James Freedland, ACLU at 5:12pm

As Schoolhouse Rock put it so succinctly:

Oh, we were suffering until suffrage, Not a woman here could vote, no matter what age, Then the 19th Amendment struck down that restrictive rule. (Oh yeah!)

It was 88 years ago today that the 19th…

Fired for Being Transgender, What ENDA Vote Means To Me

Fired for Being Transgender, What ENDA Vote Means To Me

By Diane Schroer at 2:06pm

Hearing and reading about the debate over the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate the past couple of days has been a surreal experience.

We've come a long way. It was not even ten years ago that I had a job offer rescinded…

Evening the Field: Title IX's Continuing Impact on Gender Equality in Sports

Evening the Field: Title IX's Continuing Impact on Gender Equality in Sports

By Tiseme Zegeye, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 11:15am

In too many schools, Title IX's requirement for gender equality in school athletics continues to be blatantly ignored.

Why Gene Patents Are Unlawful

By Selene Kaye, ACLU at 11:46am

(Originally posted on ACSBlog.)

Last week the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. government's practice of granting patents on human genes - specifically, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are associated with breast and ovarian cancer. In the last 20 or so years the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has issued patents on thousands of human genes — the segments of DNA that we all have in our cells — giving private corporations, individuals, and universities the exclusive rights to those genetic sequences and their usage.

The patents on the BRCA genes are particularly broad and offensive. The PTO has granted Myriad Genetics, a private biotechnology company based in Utah, patents on both the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic sequences, on any mutations along those genes, on any methods for locating mutations on the genes, without further specification on the type of methods, and on correlations between genetic mutations and susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancer.

The lawsuit charges, as critics of gene patents have argued for years, that gene patents stifle biomedical research and interfere with patients' access to genetic testing. The lawsuit argues that the patents on the BRCA genes are unconstitutional and invalid given the long-standing legal precedent that "products of nature" and "laws of nature" are not patentable. The suit also makes the novel argument that the practice of patenting genes, their correlations with disease, and the thought of comparing two genes violates the First Amendment and interferes with scientific freedom.

106 Degrees and Dead Bugs. "Good Enough" For Breastfeeding Moms?

106 Degrees and Dead Bugs. "Good Enough" For Breastfeeding Moms?

By Bobbi Bockoras at 10:55am

This is the story of how I ended up pumping breast milk while sitting on a filthy floor, covered in dirt and dead bugs, at the plant where I work – and what I decided to do about it.

Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

Get Tested Or Get Out: School Forces Pregnancy Tests on Girls, Kicks out Students Who Refuse or are Pregnant

By Tiseme Zegeye, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:33pm

In a Louisiana public school, female students who are suspected of being pregnant are told that they must take a pregnancy test. Under school policy...

New Report Shows 95% of Campus Rapes Go Unreported

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 12:10pm

Yesterday, Vanessa at Feministing blogged on a study by the Center for Public Integrity about sexual assault on campus. The figure of campus rapes that go unreported is 95 percent—a sad and shocking state of affairs. And for those that are…