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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

Published: 
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
The ACLU-WA was recently contacted by a transgender woman who experienced discrimination at the Ross Dress for Less in Lynnwood, Washington. While trying on clothes in the women’s dressing room, this woman was interrupted by the store manager, sternly told to put on her “regular clothes,” and loudly and repeatedly instructed to leave the dressing room area immediately. The ACLU-WA contacted Ross’ headquarters to explain that the Lynnwood store manager’s actions clearly violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
Published: 
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
When is a happy, healthy, and well-to-do family considered censorship-worthy?  According to a grocery store in Arkansas, censorship is necessary when the family includes same-sex parents.
Published: 
Friday, January 14, 2011
The benefits to students of playing high school and collegiate sports have been well-documented, from improved academic performance to better physical and emotional health.  In October 2010, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Center for Lesbian Rights released a ground-breaking report that provides policy recommendations for high school and college institutions on the inclusion of transgender student athletes.  On the Team: Equal Opportunities for Transgender Student-Athletes was drafted after WSF and NCLR held a national think tank in Indianapolis in October 2009, bringing together medical, legal, and athletic experts from all over the country. The report contains the think tank’s policy recommendations about how to include transgender students in sports while taking into account the competitive contexts of high school and collegiate athletics, along with medical and legal concerns.  
News Release, Published: 
Saturday, December 18, 2010

After 17 years, the unjust “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy banning gays and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military has finally been relegated to the scrap heap of history.   The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell means that thousands of active duty military personnel will soon be able to enjoy the freedoms and fair treatment that they are defending. Pictured: Major Witt serving in Oman.

News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A student who endured severe harassment by other students throughout junior high and high school is suing the Aberdeen School District for failing to take steps reasonably calculated to end the harassment. The district's failure to act created a hostile educational environment for the student, says the ACLU-WA, which is representing him.

Published: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
LGBT teenagers are more likely than their peers to be punished by schools, police and the courts, according to a recent Washington Post article which cites the first nationwide study of its kind to highlight these important issues. The study found that LGBT youth are 40% more likely to receive educational and criminal justice-related punishments, such as expulsions, police stops, arrests and incarceration.  These studies confirm what the ACLU has known for a long time: that LGBT students are often discriminated against from a young age, which denies them equal access to education and robs them of future opportunities.  
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Maj. Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse dismissed under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” spoke about her eagerness to rejoin the U.S. Air Force. When reinstated, she will become the first openly gay person to serve in the military due to a court order under DADT. Major Witt spoke at a press conference at the ACLU-WA, which has represented her in a four-year-long lawsuit seeking her reinstatement.  

News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Major Margaret Witt, a decorated flight nurse who had been dismissed under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, will be able to resume her service with the U.S. Air Force, the ACLU of Washington announced today.  Major Witt will become the first openly gay person to serve in the military due to a court order under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The ACLU-WA has represented Major Witt in a four-year-long lawsuit seeking her reinstatement. Pictured: Major Witt (far right) deployed in Oman. 

Published: 
Friday, October 29, 2010
What’s the next best thing to being an ACLU staff attorney? Being an ACLU legal fellow. As election season rolls around, the end of my year-long fellowship at the ACLU of Washington does as well. A 2009 graduate of Hastings College of Law in California, I’ve been hired by Perkins Coie but deferred my starting date with the firm. So for the past year, instead of working on commercial litigation, I have had the amazing opportunity to work full-time in the ACLU-WA legal department. I have gotten a taste of advocacy and educational work, creating a toolkit for farmworkers’ rights. I have dipped my feet in legislative and policy work in immigration issues. Most excitingly, I immediately plunged into litigation as a member of the ACLU-WA legal team on the landmark “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” case Witt v. Air Force. Read more
Published: 
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Schools must protect students from harassment, and if they don’t, the federal government will have something to say about it.  That was the message sent by the White House and the Department of Education on October 26th when they issued new guidance designed to make clear that schools have a legal duty to protect students from harassment under existing federal civil rights statutes. Read more

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