News & Updates

By James Esseks, Director, LGBT & HIV Project

A federal appeals court weighed in yesterday in the nation's ongoing conversation about restrooms and transgender people, ruling squarely in favor of transgender people and equality.

Gavin Grimm is a junior in high school in Gloucester, Virginia. He's a boy, but because he's also transgender, his school told him he couldn't use the boy's restroom at school, but would have to use the girl's room or single-user restrooms. Gavin didn't think it was right for him to be treated differently than all the other boys at his school, so (with the ACLU's help) he challenged the district's rule as discriminatory.
October 20, 2015

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Senate bill seeking to defund over 350 localities that have adopted community trust policies and refused to execute unconstitutional immigration detainers has failed to advance to a full Senate vote. The "Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act" (S.2146) was blocked by a 54-45 cloture vote. The American Civil Liberties Union is a leader in a broad coalition of law enforcement, municipal, community development, housing, victim services, religious, and immigrants' rights organizations that opposed the bill.

Calling all students: it's pop quiz time! Let's find out if you know your religious freedom rights at school. Imagine the following scenario: an assembly is about to take place at a local public school. It features a youth minister who preaches to students and a rock band playing religious songs. Several atheist students feel uncomfortable going to the assembly because it will include prayer. Their teacher tells them they can just watch a movie during the assembly period instead.

Is this assembly

A. Permissible under the U.S. Constitution; or
B. A violation of religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution
By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project

The Daily Beast has reported that North Dakota has enacted a drone bill that permits law enforcement drones to be equipped with weapons such as Tasers, rubber bullets, tear gas, and sound cannons. This is a terrible idea.

Having attended numerous drone meetings and conferences in the past several years attended by a broad array of industry, law enforcement, and other government representatives, I can confidently say that there is a broad consensus that armed domestic drones are beyond the pale. With the exception of one sheriff in Texas who mused about arming drones several years ago, the concept is never even seriously discussed in the drone community. Several states have already enacted flat bans on weaponized drones (examples include Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin).

Imagine there are two couples in line to receive marriage licenses. One is an opposite-sex couple and the other a same-sex couple. But, only the opposite-sex couple walks away with a marriage license while the same-sex couple is told to come back when the deputy county recorder has returned to the office. This exact scenario could occur at some point in Stark County, North Dakota.

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