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The ACLU of Utah Activist

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To Protect Privacy, Utah Attorney General Gives Away Some of His Power

05 March 2014 Published in 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.

ACLU Argues That Utah's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Demands Heightened Court Scrutiny

05 March 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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.

My Liberation Is Bound With Yours

19 February 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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.”

My Big Gay (Il)Legal Wedding

14 February 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
The national ACLU is chipping in to help 5 same-sex couples have a Big, Gay, (Il)legal Wedding to highlight the unfair patchwork of state marriage laws and why the freedom to marry is so important.

Take Action Against Mass Government Surveillance

11 February 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
You can: support the USA Freedom Act; oppose the FISA Improvements Act; protect people around the globe; and protect encryption standards.

It's Like You're Sold a Dream

30 January 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
I lost my drive after my older brother Rufus was sentenced. I didn't care. I didn't trust. That was my attitude.

Lawsuit To Ensure That Utah Honors Marriage Seeks To Protect All

23 January 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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…

Stripped of Recognition

21 January 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Utah to force the state to continue recognizing the marriages of more than 1,000 same-sex couples who were legally married.

Support the USA FREEDOM Act to rein in NSA spying

17 January 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Did you watch President Obama's speech on NSA reforms?  Here is the ACLU analysis and call to support the USA FREEDOM Act to rein in NSA spying.

This Is What Respect for Marriage Looks Like

10 January 2014 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
On Friday, Attorney General Holder confirmed that the federal government would continue recognizing the nearly 1,400 marriages issued to same-sex couples in Utah. 

Marriage Equality

08 January 2014 Published in Legal Advocacy
On January 8, 2014, the ACLU of Utah sent Attorney General Sean Reyes a letter explaining the reasons that the over 1,000 marriages of same sex couples performed in Utah are valid and enforceable and must be recognized by the state and federal governments.  

How to Honor Mandela's Legacy

10 December 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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 >>  

My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding

10 December 2013 Published in Audio and Video
Do you dream of marrying your same-sex partner but are blocked by Utah state laws? The national ACLU wants to hear from you - and may even foot the bill for your ‘Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding’…   

Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation

20 November 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
 This morning, the national ACLU released Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities.

Virtual Rally against NSA surveillance

20 October 2013 Published in Past Events
October 26th, Washington D.C., and around the world. 

ACLU of Utah Honors the Life of Frank Cordova

08 October 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
The ACLU of Utah joins friends and colleagues across Utah in mourning the passing of Frank Cordova. Frank was a fearless and determined advocate for racial and social justice.

Banned Books Week 2013: Books about LGBT Families Remain Targets of Censorship

25 September 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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. 

School to Prison Pipeline

25 September 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
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…

Contraception is Basic Health Care

20 August 2013 Published in Federal Policy Work
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…