Washington Markup

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

DOJ Solidifies Protection for Transgender Rights

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:13pm
While the American workplace is often notoriously inhospitable to transgender Americans, the federal government last month moved decisively to change that. In a new memorandum, the Department of Justice explicitly clarified that gender identity discrimination claims are covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This is another important step forward in the ongoing fight for basic fairness and equal treatment under the law for transgender Americans.
ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

ACLU to Congress: We Need a Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

Did you know that there are just 18 states that have explicit workplace non-discrimination protections for LGBT people, or that a mere 13 states have such protections in place for LGBT students?

On Tuesday, the director of the ACLU's Washington…

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

New DOJ Profiling Guidance: LGBTQ-Inclusive, But Inadequate

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:36am

This piece originally appeared at Slate's Outward blog.

"Hands up, don't shoot!" "We can't breathe!"

With the backdrop of a national, youth-led movement demanding reform of a system of policing that too often approaches communities…

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

The American Public Gets It. President Obama Gets It. Why Doesn't Congress?

By Vania Leveille, Washington Legislative Office at 10:46am

Like millions of Americans, President Obama doesn't think it makes a lot of sense to fire an employee or force her to take unpaid leave because she's six months pregnant and needs a stool to sit on while working the cash register.

This is a…

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

The 40th Anniversary of an LGBT Milestone in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00pm

Forty years ago today, "Battling Bella" Abzug, a member of Congress from New York and a trailblazer for women, introduced a bill to protect gay people from discrimination for the first time in American history. The Equality Act of 1974 would have banned…

Transgender Military Ban Takes Center Stage

Transgender Military Ban Takes Center Stage

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:41pm

In an interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC's This Week on Sunday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that he believes current military regulations that prohibit transgender individuals from serving openly in the military should be reviewed.

We…

Victory! Title IX Protects Transgender Students

Victory! Title IX Protects Transgender Students

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:43am

Good news for transgender students was hidden in the White House's big news on sexual violence in schools and on college campuses on Tuesday. This latest breakthrough comes during an often fraught time of the school year for transgender and gender…

Who's the Boss? Not Who You Think.

Who's the Boss? Not Who You Think.

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:58pm

Meet Tony and Angela.  Angela is a floor worker at a manufacturing plant and Tony is her shift supervisor. Tony’s boss, who works offsite, decides whom to hire or fire at this particular plant.  But Tony makes Angela’s schedule, gives…

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:13am

Since the Supreme Court's landmark Windsor ruling last June striking down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), the federal government has moved, with commendable speed, in a myriad of areas to extend recognition to the marriages…

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

In the late hours on Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 84-15, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.  Included within the sprawling annual defense authorization…