The ACLU of Utah Activist
In February 2014, the attorney general for the state of Utah did something remarkable, something that law enforcement officials hardly ever do: He willingly gave away some of his power.
On March 4, 2014, the ACLU of Utah, the ACLU of Oklahoma, and the ACLU LGBT Project filed an amicus brief in Kitchen v. Herbert on behalf of themselves and 19 other civil rights organizations.
A couple of newsletters ago, I discussed the importance of recognizing the interdependence of everyone’s rights. I ended my thoughts with this quote by Lila Watson, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
We are grateful to all of those who expressed their desire to be plaintiffs in the recently filed lawsuit to ensure that Utah honors marriage. We are deeply committed to ensuring equality for all married same sex couples in Utah, and this case moves that goal forward by seeking to require the State to again honor the marriages of those who relied on licenses that Utah issued. After considerable analysis, we chose not to bring a formal class action so we could move the case forward as quickly as possible. Please know, however, that the result we seek in this case is for Utah to recognize and honor the marriages of all same sex couples with Utah licenses, whether or not they are named plaintiffs. And know that this court case is only one of the ways that we are working to bring marriage equality to everyone throughout Utah and the nation. We would like everyone who contacted us to know that the information and input you provided was invaluable and helped shape the case. There will be many ways in the months ahead that we can all work together to broaden the understanding and education about same sex marriage…
By Jamil Dakwar, Director, national ACLU Human Rights Program - Today's celebrations of international Human Rights Day coincide with the commemoration of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela – the freedom fighter, political prisoner, African National Congress leader, and first president of post-apartheid South Africa. More than 90 world leaders, including Barack Obama attended Mandela's memorial service today, where the president gave a passionate eulogy, telling tens of thousands that Mandela "speaks to what's best inside us." Read more >>
This morning, the national ACLU released Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities.
This national ACLU log post examines continued censorship of books in the U.S. and mentions the recent ACLU of Utah case, Weber v. Davis School District.
The ACLU of Utah has a strong commitment to fighting for racial justice and has pursued several important cases in the past year to challenge racial inequity in our community. One case that the ACLU of Utah staff has been hard at work on is Winston vs. Salt Lake Police Department for which we filed a class-action lawsuit against school and police officials over a ‘gang sweep’ in which students of color were detained, interrogated and falsely accused of participating in gang activity. The ACLU of Utah views this case as one important challenge to the larger disturbing trend of schools using discipline policies that push children out of school and into the criminal justice system. This trend is known as the school-to-prison pipeline. Increasingly, police have a greater presence in schools and as a result young people are being criminalized for offenses like minor classroom misbehavior. The greater police presence is not making our schools safer when children are encountering the criminal justice system for non-violent offenses. In the Winston case, between 14 and 40 West High School students of color were detained, interrogated, searched and forced to be photographed holding signs identifying them as gang members. Their personal information…
Now is the time to speak out to ensure contraception coverage for millions of American women. Urge the Obama administration to stand firm and not yield to those seeking to undo a major victory for women's health. In a breakthrough for women's health, the Obama administration has ensured that millions of women have access to affordable, effective contraception. But anti-family planning forces are waging an all-out campaign to prevent women from getting affordable access to this basic health care. They are claiming that your boss should be able to control your health care decisions. We can't let them succeed. That's why we're hoping you will immediately write to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and urge it to stand by its decision – contraception is basic health care and must be available in health insurance plans. The deadline for public comment on the current plan is right around the corner. HHS needs to hear from you and all Americans who support women’s fundamental right to contraception. We must fight back and ensure our voices are heard. We know that contraception is a game changer for women. Contraception helps women protect their health and plan their families. It allows women…