Everyone in America deserves equal treatment under the law regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression 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.
U.S. Supreme Court Sends LGBT Discrimination Case Back to WA State Supreme Court for Review
Parent sues employer for denying coverage to transgender son


Friday, August 13, 2010
Last week, Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach filed a high-profile lawsuit arguing that the Air Force should be forced to meet the "Witt standard" if it attempts to discharge him from military service under Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). The "Witt standard" comes from a significant 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in an ACLU of Washington case, Witt v. U.S. Air Force, in which the court ruled that the Air Force must prove that dismissing a specific servicemember under DADT is necessary to ensure “good order, morale, and discipline” within the unit he or she served, rather than simply proving in a more general way that DADT broadly advances military readiness. With that requirement of proof, the “Witt standard” was born. Read more
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This morning, a co-worker sent around an amazing video clip from last night. Not being a late-night television watcher, I missed the earth-shaking revelation that it shows. Bill O’Reilly (an avowed believer that the ACLU is terrorist organization) and the ACLU agreed on something! Watch the video
Friday, July 9, 2010
Join the ACLU of Washington at Saturday in the Park on July 10, 2010 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm for a day of fabulousness and activism!  This event will take place on the Esther Short Commons located at the corner of 6th and Esther Streets in Downtown Vancouver (map). The LGBT civil liberties pendulum continues to sway in 2010.  When will it stop? I do not know.  What I do know is that the ACLU of Washington continues to fight tirelessly for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks to enjoy equal access to marriage, in the military, from discrimination and for our youth.  ACLU-WA is so busy; it is often difficult to keep up.  Are you up to date on Witt V. U.S. Air Force? Don’t worry; I wasn’t before this week began.  The Clark County Chapter will be smiling proud at the ACLU-WA booth ready to answer questions like… How is the ACLU-WA currently working to protect my civil liberties? Are there any upcoming public education events? How do I become a member of the ACLU-WA? How can I volunteer for the ACLU-WA? Is my outfit cute or what? The ACLU of Washington demands equal treatment for all people in America under the law, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Stand with us as we stand with you and have a Happy Pride!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I spent a week in Detroit attending workshops, plenaries, meeting lots of new people, and discussing ideas. This may sound like a typical conference, but the US Social Forum (USSF) is more than workshops and networking. The USSF is a movement building process where activists and advocates from across the country gather to share ideas, cultivate relationships for effective action, engage in dialogue on how to create "another world" - one that is free from racism, homophobia, sexism, and other forms of inequality and unfairness. Throughout the week, my activist spirit was rejuvenated and inspired – and the energy continues. Read more
News Release, Published: 
Friday, July 2, 2010
  Racial, ethnic, disability, sexual orientation, and other kinds of discrimination remains a pervasive problem in Washington schools. Discrimination shows up in a variety of forms, among them harassment, disparate discipline including suspensions and expulsions, over-referral to special education, and under-inclusion in advanced-placement classes. Such discrimination contributes to lower achievement and higher dropout rates among student populations.   Originally published in the Summer 2010 issue of the WSBA Civil Rights Newsletter. 
Monday, June 28, 2010
Last week, Seattle's weekly Stranger newspaper reported on the launch of a new meth outreach program: For 16 years, Seattle Counseling Service (SCS), an LGBT mental-health- and addiction-­counseling center, has focused its meth outreach on gay men. A month ago, the organization started something different: Women OUT, a weekly meth-abuse support group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LBTQ) women. This is a good thing. Rates of current (past-month) use of methamphetamine by women and men have been equal in recent years. Why the previous focus on gay men? According to a 2004 report published by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the National Coalition of STD Directors, evidence suggested that meth use increased the likelihood of engaging in risky behavior like unprotected sex. Well, yes, that shouldn't have surprised anyone.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The first Pride Parade I ever attended was in 2003, just days after the Supreme Court ruled on Lawrence v. Texas, a groundbreaking decision that struck down the Texas law which criminalized sodomy. I was in San Francisco. Marchers held signs, “I had sodomy for breakfast.” As I had only come out less than two years prior, the immense outward free expression of pride and celebration of equal rights was overwhelming—in a good way. As Pride month culminates here in this weekend’s festivities and annual parade, I reflect on a couple recent developments that are cause for celebration—personally, with respect to future aspiring parenthood and to professional growth and inspiration. Read more
Friday, June 18, 2010
For a long time my partner and I have known that our futures would be intertwined.  About a year ago, the conversation began to shift from both of us dreaming of law school to each of us taking active steps towards attending law school.  As our conversation moved from dreaming to paying for it (and the sticker shock that is private and public law schools in this country), we began toying with the idea of making our relationship legitimate (read: legal).  We figured that if we had legal standing as a partnership, both being in law school, our potential loan cap could increase.  Romantic, no? We began to discuss seriously how legalizing our union would change our lives; how we would have some legal protections for our relationship and a responsibility to care for each other, would always be able to visit each other in the hospital and have power of attorney over each other, and could take family and medical leave to care for each other.  We talked about traveling together, and how the US embassy would see us differently if we traveled together as legal partners. Read more
Friday, May 14, 2010
This session the Washington Legislature passed a landmark civil rights law (HB 3026). The measure explicitly prohibits discrimination based on race, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, religion, disability, national origin, veteran or military status, and disability in public schools – sex discrimination was previously banned. And it gives the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) the tools to enforce compliance with these prohibitions against discrimination. This is an important step forward. But it's not time to breathe a sigh of relief yet. There is more work to ensure this law does what it is supposed to do. OSPI is hosting town halls across the state to get community members’ input to inform the creation of the Washington State Code (WAC) that will implement the new law.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Legislature took significant strides in protecting privacy and extending fairness in several important areas: voting rights reform, domestic partnership rights, privacy for car travelers, and fair play in community sports.