Resources & Publications
This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2017 Spring Newsletter >> The ACLU of Utah, chartered in 1958, operates through public education, legal advocacy, litigation, and lobbying at both the state and local levels to ensure the constitutional rights and freedoms of everyone living in or visiting Utah. Our work is based on those principals outlined in the Bill of Rights and our priorities include: Participatory Democracy; Racial Justice; Criminal Justice Reform; Immigration Reform; LGBTQ Equality; Women’s Rights; Digital Security & Privacy; and Religious Liberty & Freedom of Belief. In addition, we continue our commitment to protect the First Amendment. For more about the ACLU of Utah and our priorities please visit www.acluutah.org Staff: Brittney Nystrom, Executive Director Marina Baginsky Lowe, Legislative and Policy Counsel John Mejia, Legal Director Leah Farrell, Staff Attorney Anna Thomas, Strategic Communications Manager Cassie Taylor, Development Director Jessica Andrews, Finance and Business Manager Reinard Knutsen, Office Manager Margie Nash, Paralegal Board of Directors: Michael Weinholtz, President Danielle Hawkes, Vice President Bill Orchow, Treasurer Heidi Chamorro, Secretary Barry Gomberg, Affirmative Action Officer Roderic Land, National ACLU Board Rep. Erin Castro, Gina Cornia, Roni Jo Draper, Rachel Elliott, Forrest Crawford, Russell Fericks, Brian King, Clemens…
Did you know September 17 is Constitution Day? The national ACLU has created a website to provide fun and exciting learning opportunities for students to learn about the Constitution. The website includes resources for teachers, including a curriculum, and resources for students, including games, trivia and more. There is also information on how your student's school could win up to $10,000 by creating a wall of rights mural. Read more >>
I am proud to be issuing this annual report to our members, supporters, community partners and friends. Looking back on the past year, I am very grateful that our support from donors like you has enabled the ACLU to grow to meet the very real and serious challenges in Utah. I am convinced that the obstacles we face as a state demand an ACLU presence that is high-profile, well organized, both measured and aggressive, and backed by vital community support. Read the 2012 Annual Report
Updated June 2012 Click here for a PDF version >> Introduction Every year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah receives calls from Utah high school students seeking to form student clubs in which they can create a safe, welcoming, and accepting environment for all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Often called Queer/Straight Alliances or Gay/Straight Alliances (QSAs), these clubs are important resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students, as well as for those who are perceived by others to be LGBTQ, who are questioning their identity, who have LGBTQ friends or family members, or who just care about LGBTQ issues. Legal Protection for Non-Curricular QSAs QSAs are often formed as non-curricular clubs, which are student clubs that are not directly related to a school’s curriculum. In contrast, curricular clubs relate directly to subjects taught in school. The federal Equal Access Act applies to non-curricular clubs. Under the Equal Access Act, if a public high school allows any non-curricular student group access to school resources, then it must provide all other non-curricular student groups--including QSAs--equal access to the school’s resources. If the school treats some non-curricular clubs differently than others, then it…
The past year has been one of building momentum for our organization. The year ahead will require the full force of our legal expertise, experience, resources and vast network of support as the ACLU of Utah finds itself in the middle of explosive battles over immigration, equal protection for racial minorities and members of the LGBT community, and government intrusion into our most personal information and choices. Read the 2009-2010 Annual Report
This Annual Report covers the combined work of the ACLU of Utah and the ACLU of Utah Foundation through the 2008 - 2009 ﬁscal year. It only contains a small sample of highlights of our work in ﬁve strategic priority areas: Participatory Democracy, Racial Justice, Immigrant Rights, Privacy and Technology, and Religious Liberties/Freedom of Belief 2008 Annual Report
During the past year, the ACLU of Utah has continued to be an active participant in causes that grab headlines as well as those that are played out in the lives of individuals who struggle in society’s margins. When you review this report, you’ll see that we Utahns contend against the same ill-conceived, heavy-handed assaults on civil liberties that confront communities and state houses across the country. Over the past twelve months, the ACLU of Utah has fought off attempts to ban abortion, unfairly deny immigrants due process, and discriminate against Gay/Straight Alliances. We joined with legislators on both sides of the aisle to protest the nightmare of REAL ID, a de facto national identification card. We worked against the expansion of the death penalty and raised concerns about the constitutionality of the school vouchers program. We responded to hundreds of complaints by individuals around the state with civil liberties concerns. Day in and day out, we play a vital role in the ongoing struggle to protect everyone’s civil liberties in Utah while understanding that our work here is part of a larger effort across our country.
This Annual Report covers the work of the ACLU of Utah for the period of April 2007 through March 2008; it contains only some of the highlights of the ACLU of Utah’s Legal Advocacy, Legislative and Education & Outreach Activities. We hope this report gives you a sense of our current work and on-going projects, as well as an overview of the financial health of your ACLU. Read the PDF >>
As you read through this annual report, we hope you are as heartened as we are to see the ACLU of Utah active in a broad range of issues associated with fairness, equality, and justice. We work hard on public education and rely tremendously upon ACLU members and volunteers—through phone calls to politicians, letters to the editor, and conversations with friends and colleagues throughout the community—to help everyone understand the importance of basic freedoms.
On September 10, the state of civil liberties was not all that great. After September 11, it took a turn for the worse. It is in times of crisis, when frightened people seek security and demand protection from their government, that we must be the most vigilant. Historically, the government has taken advantage of the climate of fear and insecurity to enhance its own powers. The question before us is not whether we will survive or be victorious over the terrorist network that struck our country last September. It is whether we will have the courage to hold fast to the principles of freedom on which our nation is based.
We are very pleased to send you the following report outlining our 2000 activities. Each year, we are struck by both the diversity of our issues as well as the far-reaching impact of our work. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, we’ve accomplished much in defending and extending constitutional protections in Utah. This report illustrates our attempts to seek a balance between formulating proactive approaches to ensuring the rights of all Utahns and responding to immediate threats to civil liberties.
At times, it is difficult not to be discouraged by the current status of civil liberties. It seems that both nationally and locally, all of our constitutional protections are up for grabs. There are the constant setbacks in the long fight for basic civil rights for lesbians and gay men; cases before the U.S. Supreme Court about issues we thought were resolved long ago; and the obvious fact that despite our civil rights laws, racial and ethnic minorities are far from achieving equality in our legal system.
Information About the Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry December 15, 2000 Utah Code Section 77-27-21.5 establishes the Sex Offender Registration Information System. Despite the protests of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that this registry did not violate the due process and ex post facto rights of those convicted of sexual offenses in Utah, see Femedeer v. Haun, 227 F.3d 1244 (10th Cir. 2000). As a result, the sex offender registry is up and running. The following is a brief overview of the statute. We hope this will clarify some of the confusion associated with the registry. Please remember that you do not have to be incarcerated or on parole for this registry to apply to you. Utah’s sex offender registry is one of the broadest in the country and applies to persons who are currently incarcerated, on parole, and those who have completed parole within the last ten years. This is only a summary of the statute and you may need to contact your own attorney if you have specific questions relating to your registration. Who is required to register? Utah Code Section 77-27-21.5 applies to any person convicted by…
The nature of our organization requires us to look constantly to the future and determine effective ways to respond to emerging and unanticipated issues. It is therefore with pleasure that we present our 1998 report, which offers us a welcomed and much-needed opportunity to take a step back, reflect on our accomplishments, and figure out how our past experiences can positively impact our day-to-day decisions.
What is perhaps most remarkable about the following annual report is the surprising number of victories we were able to achieve at a time of such menacing assaults on civil liberties. We are proud of the strength of our resistance. We have brought to the battle a sophisticated network of fighters - from the vast experience and commitment of our staff, cooperating attorneys, and interns, to our dedicated and determined board of directors. In addition, our efforts have been strengthened through the successful collaboration with many other coalition partners who have helped us with our work in overseeing police practices and prison mental health policies, in fighting language discrimination, and in working towards gay and lesbian rights. As we strive to raise our voices today through the efforts of our new public education department, we are also investing in the future by educating our young people about the protections outlined in the Bill of Rights.