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The ACLU of Utah Activist

The ACLU of Utah Activist

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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. 

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 >>  

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.

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

24 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…

Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking Across the Country

17 July 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Automatic license plate readers are the most widespread location tracking technology you’ve probably never heard of. Mounted on patrol cars or stationary objects like bridges, they snap photos of every passing car, recording their plate numbers, times, and locations. At first the captured plate data was used just to check against lists of cars law enforcement hoped to locate for various reasons (to act on arrest warrants, find stolen cars, etc.). But increasingly, all of this data is being fed into massive databases that contain the location information of many millions of innocent Americans stretching back for months or even years.

Out For Freedom

25 June 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
While we celebrate the Court’s decision to strike down the federal recognition section of DOMA, individual states still have anti-gay, anti-marriage laws. In fact these discriminatory barriers are now embedded in 30 state constitutions. Find out about the new national ACLU campaign to fight for full marriage equality across the country. Read more >>

2013 Legislative Session - Week Five Update

03 March 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
With the legislative session winding down, things are picking up on the Capitol Hill. This change of pace was tangible last week, as bills started to move through the process much more quickly. This week we look at: SB 196, License Plate Reader Amendments; H.B. 44, Election Polling; S.B. 225, Immigration Trigger Dates  

2013 Legislative Session - Week Four Update

25 February 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
This week we look at H.B. 43, Campaign Finance Reporting by Corporations; H.B. 127, Motor Vehicle Event Data Recorders; and S.B. 77, Availability of Government Information.  

2013 Legislative Session - Week Three Update

20 February 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Last week was as busy as ever at the Utah State Legislature, as we continued to work with law makers on several issues.  

2013 Legislative Session - Week Two Update

10 February 2013 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
This week was busy for the ACLU of Utah, as we worked with legislators on several issues concerning civil liberties.  

Wearing a Hoodie While Brown Does Not Mean You Are in a Gang

13 December 2012 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
On December 16, 2010, West High School officials in Salt Lake City, Utah invited the Metro Gang Task Force into the school to conduct a gang sweep. Students identified, searched and interrogated by the police were mostly Latino/a or, in the case of Kaleb Winston, African-American.  He was targeted by his school and by the Task Force as a potential gang member, searched and accused of being a tagger. As an artist, Kaleb had a notebook full of drawings in a backpack manufactured to look like it had been spray-painted. But because graffiti is loosely defined, if at all, the police decided Kaleb was a “gang tagger” despite his denials. Kaleb was then forced to hold up a sign with the words “My name is Kaleb Winston and I am a gang tagger.” Law enforcement officers told him that this information was being placed into a database and that the information would be removed if he did not get into trouble for two years. Kaleb was emotionally devastated by the experience. He is not and has never been in a gang. Yet, his attendance at school that day, not bad behavior, made him the subject of intense police scrutiny and…

Davis School District Sued for Removing Children’s Book About Lesbian Parents from Library Shelves

12 November 2012 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
November 13, 2012 -  The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit against the Davis School District after elementary schools in the district were instructed to remove a children's book about a family with same-sex parents from library shelves.

ACLU of Utah is Looking for Parents of Elementary Students in Davis School District

06 August 2012 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
If you or someone you know is the parent of a child in one of Davis School District elementary schools listed at the end of this post, we'd like to hear from you.   As you may recall, we've been investigating the District's removal of the book "In Our Mothers' House" from the shelves of school libraries and requiring parental permission to check it out. For school administrators to place restrictions on a library book because they disagree with its message is viewpoint discrimination, and violates the First Amendment.  We would like to speak to parents with children at Parkside Elementary School in Clinton, Windridge Elementary School in Kaysville, Snow Horse Elementary School in Kaysville or South Weber Elementary School in South Weber, where the book was removed. Our conversations will be confidential.  Please call John Mejia at (801) 521-9862 x.108 or email us at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

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