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Follow the links below to view ACLU of Utah press releases.

ACLU of Utah Hails Utah Supreme Court’s Decision Vacating Ogden’s “Gang Injunction”

18 October 2013 Published in Newsroom
In a victory for civil rights, the Utah Supreme Court today vacated the so-called Ogden “Gang Injunction.”  In the case against the injunction, brought by the ACLU of Utah, the Court ruled that Weber County’s tactic of attempting to sue Ogden Trece as an “unincorporated association,” thereby binding hundreds of individuals without having to name any of them, violated Utah’s rules requiring proper service of process.

ACLU Asks Federal Court to Strike Down Utah Marriage Ban

17 October 2013 Published in Newsroom
The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah today submitted a “friend of the court” brief in support of in support of Kitchen v. Herbert, a case challenging Utah's a ban on marriage for same-sex couples, Kitchen v. Herbert. The ACLU brief calls for a heightened level of scrutiny to be placed on any law that discriminates against same-sex couples and their families.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Core Section of the "Defense of Marriage Act" Unconstitutional

26 June 2013 Published in Newsroom
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that section three of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act" is unconstitutional and that the federal government cannot discriminate against married lesbian and gay couples for the purposes of determining federal benefits and protections. Today's ruling is a historic victory for gay and lesbian Americans and a tremendous step forward for the cause of equality. Read more >>

Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Use Of Tear Gas In Utah State Prison's Mental Health Wing

03 June 2013 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of a group of prisoners at the Utah State Prison. The case involves an incident in August 2011 in which corrections officers released a tear gas canister in the Olympus wing of the Utah State Prison to subdue a single prisoner. The tear gas entered the air ventilation system and seeped into cells that have no windows or bars, affecting about 150 inmates. The inmates were left to breathe the noxious gas for about 20 minutes, and many feared for their lives. The Olympus wing is the mental health wing of the prison; it also houses prisoners with severe medical conditions.

ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation into Police Use of Military Technology & Tactics

05 March 2013 Published in Newsroom
Militarization of Local Law Enforcement Erodes Civil Liberties, Encourages Overly Aggressive Policing - The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and 22 other ACLU affiliates across the country are simultaneously filing over 255 public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.

ACLU of Utah 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship Recipients Announced

21 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has selected three high school seniors in Utah to receive the organization’s 2013 Youth Activist Scholarship. The recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship, in recognition of their commitment to civil liberties through activism. The winners will be honored at the ACLU of Utah’s 2013 Bill of Rights Celebration on May 17, 2013.

Civil Rights Coalition in Court Friday to Challenge Utah’s Anti-Immigrant Law Press Conference To Take Place After Hearing

12 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
Download a PDF of this advisory >> Attorneys from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Utah will ask a federal judge on Friday to continue to block the state’s anti-immigrant law.

Brigham City "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance Lawsuit Settled After City Repeals Ordinance

10 February 2013 Published in Newsroom
The Main Street Church of Brigham City has settled its lawsuit challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleged that the Ordinance violated the Utah and United States Constitutions because it required a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposed civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. The ACLU of Utah filed the suit on behalf of Main Street Church after the City relied on the Ordinance to bar the church from passing out pamphlets on certain sidewalks during the Brigham City LDS Temple Open House. After the lawsuit was filed, the City agreed to allow a limited number of Main Street Church representatives to pass out pamphlets on all sidewalks. Brigham City later repealed the Ordinance entirely. That repeal cleared the way for the out-of-court settlement the parties reached.

After Returning Book to Shelves, Utah School District Agrees Not to Remove Library Books Containing LGBT Content

14 January 2013 Published in Newsroom
In the wake of its decision to return “In Our Mother’s’ House,” a book about a family with same-sex parents to the shelves of elementary schools, Davis School District in Utah has agreed to never again remove the book based solely on its content. The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah on behalf of a mother with children in the district that had remained pending after the book’s return.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Unlawful Sweep at Utah School Targeting Students of Color

12 December 2012 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:December 13, 2012 Police Detained and Interrogated Students Based on Their Race And Ethnicity The American Civil Liberties Union 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 complaint stems from a December 2010 incident during which 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 was entered into a “gang database,” making them subject to additional police scrutiny even though they did not commit a crime. All of the detained students were of Latino, African-American or Pacific Island descent, even though they make up only half of the student body. “Schools should be a place where everyone can learn and grow, not a location where students of color are targeted and harassed,” said Courtney Bowie, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program, which filed the complaint along with the ACLU of Utah. “Instead of policing our classrooms and criminalizing students of color, school and government officials must focus on educating our youth, and do…

ACLU of Utah Settles Claim Of Man Stopped And Cited For "Flipping The Bird" At Orem Police Officer

14 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU of Utah Settles Claim Of Man Stopped And Cited For "Flipping The Bird" At Orem Police Officer - The ACLU of Utah has successfully settled a freedom of expression case in Orem City. On June 25, 2010, Seth Dame "flipped the bird" at an Orem City police officer who was driving by. The officer then stopped the car Seth was riding in and questioned Seth and the others in his car for about 20 minutes. The officer then issued a disorderly conduct citation against Seth for "flipping the bird" at him. Orem City later declined to prosecute the citation. After hearing from Seth, the ACLU of Utah contacted Orem City to inform them that the officer had violated Seth's rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The ACLU of Utah also conducted an investigation into the Orem Police Department's practices in issuing disorderly conduct citations.

ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance

09 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
PRESS RELEASE -- Today, the ACLU of Utah filed a complaint on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleges that on its face, the ordinance violates the Utah and United States Constitutions because it requires a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposes civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. This ordinance could subject many unsuspecting people in Brigham City to liability for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment.

Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City

08 November 2012 Published in Newsroom
Posted 9/14/12 - As of yesterday evening, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street. This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City. Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional. They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.            

ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists

09 October 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists   For Immediate Release October 9, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The ACLU of Utah’s Youth Activist Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, recognizes Utah high school seniors who are passionate about civil liberties, and have taken a stand to show it. Three winners, selected by a committee of educators and community leaders, are each awarded a $1000 scholarship to be used toward their first year of college. Past scholarship recipients have come from many parts of Utah including Logan, Ogden, Provo, St. George, Orem, Moab, and Salt Lake City. They have positively impacted their communities by advocating for: racial justice; immigrants' rights; equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students; increased reproductive health education; women's rights; and free speech and expression. “Every year we look forward to reviewing the scholarship applications from graduating senior high school students,” says Anna Brower, Development Director at the ACLU of Utah. “It is an inspiring experience to learn more about the outstanding Utah high school youth who advocate for civil liberties in their schools and communities.” The winners of the 2011-2012 ACLU of Utah Youth Activist Scholarship…

ACLU Scholarship Offers Financial Aid For College To Utah Youth Activists

08 October 2012 Published in Newsroom
MR_Scholarship_10-04-12.pdf For Immediate Release  October 9, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The ACLU of Utah’s Youth Activist Scholarship Program, now in its sixth year, recognizes Utah high school seniors who are passionate about civil liberties, and have taken a stand to show it. Three winners, selected by a committee of educators and community leaders, are each awarded a $1000 scholarship to be used toward their first year of college. Past scholarship recipients have come from many parts of Utah including Logan, Ogden, Provo, St. George, Orem, Moab, and Salt Lake City. They have positively impacted their communities by advocating for: racial justice; immigrants' rights; equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students; increased reproductive health education; women's rights; and free speech and expression. “Every year we look forward to reviewing the scholarship applications from graduating senior high school students,” says Anna Brower, Development Director at the ACLU of Utah. “It is an inspiring experience to learn more about the outstanding Utah high school youth who advocate for civil liberties in their schools and communities.” The winners of the 2011-2012 ACLU of Utah Youth Activist Scholarship awards certainly exemplify this commitment to and passion for civil liberties.…

Utah Supreme Court Grants Hearing on “Gang Injunction”

30 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah, along with cooperating attorneys from the Salt Lake City law firm Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless, will be appearing before the Utah Supreme Court on October 25th for a hearing on whether a controversial injunction issued in Weber County should be subject to immediate appeal in the state’s highest court. On August 20th, Weber County attorneys filed a complaint with the Second District Court in Ogden, asking the court to declare the “Ogden Trece” a public nuisance and impose a multi-faceted injunction regulating the activities of Ogden residents identified by the police as alleged members of the Ogden Trece The Ogden Trece has been described in various court filings and newspaper articles as a “criminal street gang” consisting of several hundred members and operating largely within the Ogden City limits. “Law enforcement certainly has an interest in stopping organized crime,” states ACLU of Utah Legal Director Darcy Goddard. “But there is no evidence here or elsewhere that so-called ‘gang injunctions’ are actually effective long-term. Nonetheless, in exchange for the County’s tenuous and unsupported promise of the possibility of ‘reduced crime,’ this injunction criminalizes a wide range of otherwise legal and constitutionally-protected activity, for literally hundreds of people,…

Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City

13 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
As of yesterday evening, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street. This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City. Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional. They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.

Free Speech for All Returns to Brigham City

13 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
Brigham City Suspends Enforcement of Free Speech Ordinance: Free Speech For All Returns to Brigham City       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    September 13, 2012                                                        SALT LAKE CITY— As of 6:30 p.m. today, Brigham City, Utah has agreed not to enforce its “Free Speech Zone Ordinance” that was challenged in federal court just two days ago by the ACLU of Utah, on behalf of Main Street Church of Brigham City. Since 6:30 p.m. today, representatives of the Main Street Church have been peacefully handing out their literature on the public sidewalks surrounding the LDS Temple. The Main Street Church agreed to limit the number of its representatives to four on each side of the street.   This agreement does not suspend the lawsuit filed against Brigham City.  Main Street Church and the ACLU of Utah have not conceded that any past enforcement of the ordinance was constitutional.  They also continue to contend that the ordinance is unconstitutional on its face and that it should be completely struck down by the court.   “We are thrilled that our clients are no longer being banned from public sidewalks merely because they would like to express their views,…

ACLU of Utah Appeals Ogden's "Gang Injunction" To Utah Supreme Court And Requests Immediate Stay

12 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
The ACLU of Utah, together with cooperating attorneys David Reymann of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless and Randy Richards of Allen, Richards & Pace, today filed a Notice of Appeal in the Second Judicial District Court for Weber County appealing the court’s so-called “gang injunction” to the Utah Supreme Court. The ACLU of Utah also requested that the district court suspend the enforcement of the injunction while the appeal is pending.

ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance

11 September 2012 Published in Newsroom
ACLU of Utah Files Complaint Challenging Brigham City's Unconstitutional "Free Speech Zone" Ordinance   For Immediate Release September 11, 2012 SALT LAKE CITY— Today, the ACLU of Utah filed a complaint on behalf of the Main Street Church of Brigham City challenging Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance. The suit alleges that on its face, the ordinance violates the Utah and United States Constitutions because it requires a permit for almost any conceivable form of public expression and imposes civil and criminal penalties for failing to comply. This ordinance could subject many unsuspecting people in Brigham City to liability for engaging in activities protected by the First Amendment. Because Brigham City is actively barring Main Street Church from two public sidewalks in the city, Main Street Church has also moved for a temporary restraining order to immediately prohibit Brigham City from continuing to restrict Main Street Church’s First Amendment rights to assembly, free speech, and free exercise of religion in a traditional public forum. The ACLU of Utah believes that Brigham City’s “Free Speech Zone” Ordinance turns the entire city into a place where free speech, free assembly and free exercise of religion are prohibited until people are granted a…