The ACLU has a long history of defending the LGBT community. We brought our first LGBT rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBT Project in 1986. The ACLU’s LGBT rights strategy is based on the belief that fighting for the society we want means not just persuading judges and government officials, but ultimately changing the way society thinks about LGBT people.
To end discrimination, the ACLU seeks to both change the law and convince Americans that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong. The ACLU carries out this work in five priority areas: basic rights and liberties, parenting, relationships and marriage, youth and schools, and transgender rights.
Today, the ACLU brings more LGBT cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization does. With our reach into the courts and legislatures of every state, there is no other organization that can match our record of making progress both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion.
What You Need To Know
- 58%Today, a majority of Americans (58 percent) support marriage for same-sex couples.
- 37 (and counting!)As of February 15, 2015, 37 states and the District of Columbia permit same-sex couples to marry.
- 31In 31 states, it is legal to fire someone solely for being transgender.
The ACLU believes that sexual orientation and gender identity should not affect a person’s legal ability to be a parent. We are fully supported in this belief by reputable child welfare experts and social scientists who study LGBT parenting. We therefore advocate for LGBT people to have equal opportunities to build the kinds of families that they feel are most meaningful to them.
The ACLU believes that LGBT people, like everyone else, should have the freedom to build the kinds of personal, intimate relationships most meaningful to them without risking that their families will be disregarded or harmed by the state.
We’re working to make public schools safe and bias-free for LGBT students, defending students' free speech in school, and helping students start gay-straight alliance clubs. Check out our information for students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Learn about your rights, download resources, and get support here.
For over 80 years, the ACLU has included LGBT people in its vision of civil rights and civil liberties for all. We still have much more work to do to achieve lasting legal and social change. That’s why we’re fighting in the legislatures, courts, and streets for nondiscrimination laws that specifically protect LGBT people.
The ACLU champions transgender people’s right to be themselves. We’re fighting against discrimination in employment, housing, and public places (including restrooms) by seeking to add clear transgender protections to the law and bringing cases under the laws that already exist.
As part of our work to combat the relentless expansion of the criminal justice system, the ACLU works to ensure that LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS who have contact with law enforcement are treated fairly and are not singled out for violence or discrimination.
- News/Press ReleaseFebruary 19, 2015
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyAugust 22, 2013
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyMay 13, 2013
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyApril 24, 2015
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyApril 23, 2015
Congress Just Launched Its First Strike Against Women and LGBT People Under the Guise of Defending Religious Liberty.Blog Post - Washington MarkupApril 22, 2015
- Blog Post - Speak FreelyApril 22, 2015
Joint Statement Opposing Efforts to Use Religion to Discriminate in Congress from Organizations Advocating for LGBT Rights, Reproductive Freedom, and Freedom of Religion and BeliefLetterApril 22, 2015
- VideoApril 21, 2015