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Everyone in America deserves equal treatment under the law regardless of sexual orientation, including the right to marry the partner of your choice. The ACLU works for equal rights and legal protections against discrimination and harassment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It’s an early Valentine’s Day! With a 55-43 vote, the Washington House has joined the Senate in approving the bill making civil marriage available to all loving, committed couples. The Governor is signing the bill today at 11:30.

News Release, Published: 
Thursday, January 26, 2012
A former student who endured severe and persistent harassment throughout junior high and high school has gained a major settlement from the Aberdeen School District. The ACLU has represented Russell Dickerson III in a lawsuit saying that school district officials were aware of the harassment but failed to take steps reasonably calculated to end it.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, September 19, 2011

Major Margaret Witt reflects on her lengthy legal battle against her dismissal and the importance of the repeal of DADT. Represented by the ACLU-WA, Maj. Witt won a landmark ruling that helped pave the way for the end of the discriminatory policy. Pictured above: Major Witt (far right) deployed in Oman.

Published: 
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
From her career as an athlete came some important lessons: “Don’t fear a challenge, welcome it.” “The game ain’t over till it’s over – there are many quarters, many innings, and you have to play every one hard.” “You’ll never know the true joy of victory unless you have known defeat. Be humble in both.” Maj. Margaret Witt found these maxims from the world of sports stood her in good stead during her years of service in the military – and during her long legal battle with the government over her dismissal from the military under the now-repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.  
Published: 
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Some good news from the feds: the U.S. Department of Education has just sent a "dear colleague" letter to school districts in Washington and across the nation reminding them of students' legal right to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs).
Published: 
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Last week, the ACLU of Washington celebrated the courage of Major Margaret Witt and the conclusion of her five-year battle against the Air Force for unlawfully discharging her under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In dropping its appeal of the federal court ruling in Maj. Witt’s favor, the Air Force also agreed to remove the discharge from her record and retire her with full benefits. As we watched last week’s events unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder what Sergeant Perry Watkins would have thought about all of this.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Major Margaret Witt has reached a final settlement in her landmark lawsuit challenging her dismissal under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Major Witt attended the signing ceremony for the repeal of DADT in December and now will retire with full benefits, the ACLU-WA announced. 

Pictured:Maj. Witt (right) with her partner Laurie McChesney.

Published: 
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Recently, three Kennewick High School students formed a gay-straight alliance (GSA), the first among all Kennewick schools. They did so in the face of months-long opposition by some members of the Kennewick School Board to recognizing GSAs as non-curricular student clubs. Now, to its credit, the Kennewick School Board has voted 3-2 to give GSAs the same access to school resources enjoyed by other non-curricular student clubs.
Published: 
Friday, April 15, 2011
Many students may not be aware of the extent to which schools are censoring and blocking their access to these sites. The ACLU’s Don’t Filter Me campaign has set up a useful quiz to help you find out if your school is filtering your access to LGBT webpages.  
Published: 
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Great news! In “recognition of different types of families,” the U.S. State Department has announced its decision to offer gender neutral passport applications. These revised applications, which become available next month, will replace the terms “mother” and “father” with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” and “remove significant challenges for the two million children being parented by [LGBTQ] parents.” This is another positive step by the State Department in relationship to LGBTQ community; last year the department modified a previous rule that transgender applicants could not modify their passport gender designation unless they had undergone gender reassignment surgery.

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