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This Week in Civil Liberties

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The text, "Week in Review."
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April 1, 2011

This week, we’re winding down our blog symposium on women’s rights, and celebrate a victory for a gay corrections officer. We look back to the lessons of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and look ahead to the place in history for the courageous women of Egypt’s revolution. History teaches us that bit by bit, if we keep up the good work, the future will be brighter.

Women’s History, Women’s Rights
We know it’s no longer Women’s History Month, but we’re not done with our blog symposium on women’s rights! We’ll have a few more to come in April, but in the meantime, see them all here.

For Queer Youth, ACLU Is Here to “Kick Some Ass”!
Opponents of LGBT equality, or school officials who are simply uncomfortable with LGBT issues, tell kids they can’t be open and honest about who they are and they prevent discussion of LGBT-related topics both in and out of the classroom. The ACLU is there for queer kids who are being discriminated against in schools.

Why More Women on the Supreme Court Matters
The first woman, Sandra Day O’Connor was not appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court until 1981. Today, there are three women on the Court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan. And it makes a difference.

“Hey Baby:” Enduring Street Harassment
Street harassment is pervasive. It’s pernicious. But it’s little discussed, and the pain it causes little understood. In a personal account, Louise Melling calls for a change to our current do-nothing approach.

Gay Corrections Officer Reinstated After ACLU Lawsuit in Mississippi
We announced a settlement in the case! Andre will be reinstated to his job, and the sheriff’s department will update its nondiscrimination policy to make explicit that the department does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Bradley Manning’s Treatment Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
While many Americans are appalled by recent news reports that Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking government files to Wikileaks, is being held alone, often naked, in an isolation cell for months at a time, the truth is that such things happen in America every day.

100 Years from Tahrir Square
In an open letter to “the Women of the Peaceful Egyptian Revolution,” Denny LeBoeuf talks about watching Egyptian women standing in Tahrir Square where they, like their brothers, had been beaten, gassed, shot at, imprisoned, and killed — now “dancing with joy.”

Ain’t I a “W” too?
“I’m not trying to look like a boy, any more than I’m trying not to look like a girl. I’m just trying to look like myself.” An apparently simple act can be a daily reminder of how forms of sexism persist in our society today, despite enormous strides in the law.

Pregnant Women Need Support, Not Prison
Yesterday, the ACLU submitted a brief in the heartbreaking case of a pregnant woman suffering from a major depressive disorder, who attempted to take her own life. She lived but the infant girl died a few days later died. Indiana arrested and jailed the woman, charging her with murder and attempted feticide.

100 Years After the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire
The 146 workers who died in the 1911 disaster are 146 reminders of the importance of a safety net for workers. The centennial commemoration of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire on March 25 was dedicated to remembering the dead and the hazardous conditions in which they worked and continuing the fight for workers’ rights.

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