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In The Media 

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

ACLU of Utah in the Media:

Prior Years:  [2017] [2018] [2019] [2020]


July 2020 

 Woman claims officer profiled her in DUI arrest because she is Black, lawsuit states
Deseret News 
(07/01/2020) 

59 inmates test positive for coronavirus in outbreak at Washington County jail
Deseret News 
(07/01/2020) 

Peaceful protests in Provo Wednesday night
KSL News Radio 
(07/01/2020) 

Family, friends of inmates gather at Washington County jail, site of COVD-19 outbreak
St. George Spectrum and Daily News
(07/04/2020) 

Telling It Like It Is
City Weekly
(07/08/2020)

Purgatory turns corner as positive COVID-19 test numbers drop following outbreak
St. George Spectrum
(07/09/2020) 

Protesters rally for more inmate releases during Weber jail's COVID-19 outbreak
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(07/10/2020) 

Speed of COVID-19 spread shown at Washington County jail where 92 inmates were infected
St. George Spectrum and Daily News
(07/10/2020)

 Protesters rally at Washington County Attorney's office over COVID-19 outbreak at jail
St. George Spectrum
(07/11/2020) 

Federal inmates sue Weber County over the coronavirus outbreak in the jail
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/13/2020) 

Inmates sue Utah jail to allege inadequate virus response
AP
(07/14/2020) 

Utah Judicial Council creates new office to tackle racism and bias in court system
ABC4 
(07/15/2020) 

New hot spots, sick politicians, mask fights: News from around our 50 states
USA Today 
(07/15/2020) 

ACLU Utah condemns 'disproportionate and militarized' police response to recent protests
FOX13 
(07/18/2020) 

ACLU denounces 'demonstration of militarized' police force at Utah protests
KUTV
(07/18/2020) 

Protesters against police brutality call for greater community control
Deseret News 
(07/18/2020) 

Inside Sources: One traffic stop, two stories regarding the arrest of a Black woman in Utah
KSL
(07/22/2020) 

Supreme Court decision reignites the fight over Utah’s 18-week abortion law
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/22/2020) 

ACLU says Utah police have used unnecessary force against protesters
Salt Lake Tribune 
(07/22/2020) 

ACLU, inmates at Weber Co. Jail continue to ask for early releases after COVID-19 outbreak
ABC 4
(07/23/2020) 

20 Men With Guns Confront Solo Armed Black Protester at Utah Capitol
Newsweek 
(07/23/2020) 

The birth of a militia: how an armed group polices Black Lives Matter protests
The Guardian 
(07/27/2020) 

June 2020 

 Panel addresses racism in Utah while protesters gather downtown for 11th rally in 12 days
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/11/2020) 

18 Utah counties don’t provide prepaid postage on by-mail ballots. They can still vote, ACLU says.
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/17/2020) 

Weber County Jail tests for more COVID-19 infections; inmates allege insufficient protections
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(06/24/2020) 

Salt Lake County DA will not prosecute curfew violations after May 30 protest
KSL 
(06/25/2020) 

Postage On Mail-In Ballots? ACLU Raises Issue For June Primary
KPCW 
(06/25/2020) 

Wednesday Night’s Protest Allowed Back On Streets
KUER
(06/25/2020) 

Black Woman Sues Murray City Over 2018 Arrest, Alleging Racial Bias
KUER 
(06/29/2020) 

Black Lives Matter Utah founder talks racism, police brutality and what needs to happen next
Deseret News
(06/29/2020) 

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion clinic law
AP 
(06/30/2020) 

Black woman sues Utah police officer for unlawful arrest
AP
(06/30/2020) 

Utah woman sues Murray City on claims of racial profiling, wrongful arrest
KUTV 
(06/30/2020) 

Weber County voting, purely via mail-in ballots, unfolds quietly, without hiccups
Ogden Standard Examiner
(06/30/2020) 

Utah woman sues Murray police alleging racial bias in traffic stop
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(06/30/2020) 

Five inmates at the Weber County jail have coronavirus
Salt Lake Tribune 
(06/30/2020) 

May 2020 

Experiment ends as only 1 of 13 arrivals in Utah bothered to fill out requested health forms
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/02/2020)

Government contracts with Banjo could be on pause for months as state conducts audit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/04/2020)

Robert Gehrke: Utah should have hit pause on Banjo even before we learned of its CEO’s ties to white supremacists
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/05/2020) 

Utah prosecutor weighs in on suit demanding release of inmates
KSL News Radio
(05/07/2020)

Banjo CEO steps down as fallout from revelations of past ties to KKK continues
Deseret news
(05/08/2020) 

Former Operation Rio Grande collaborators now face off in governor’s race
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/10/2020) 

Crime victims challenge ACLU's Supreme Court petition requesting faster inmate releases amid pandemic
Ogden Standard Examiner
(05/10/2020) 

Weber, Box Elder jails dropped from accelerated inmate release petition by ACLU
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(05/14/2020) 

ACLU drops its coronavirus lawsuit against Utah’s county jails, but not the prison
Salt Lake Tribune 
(05/14/2020) 

Groups seeking release of Utah inmates amid pandemic drop case against county jails
Deseret News 
(05/15/2020) 

Putting personal privacy first: Libertas wants new government tech screened for invasive potential
Deseret News 
(05/15/2020) 

April 2020 

Can mail-in voting save the 2020 election?
Deseret News
(04/07/2020)

Utah officials react to demands that more prisoners be released due to coronavirus
Ogden Standard Examiner
(04/07/2020)

Uinta County Immigration Detention Center Plans Canceled
AP
(04/09/2020)

Victims of violent crimes in Utah file to motion to block release of prisoners because of COVID-19
The Washington Times 
(04/09/2020)

Second company abandons Evanston immigration jail project
Wyoming File
(04/09/2020)

Utah nixes cellphone alert five days after system began
Moab Sun 
(04/13/2020)

Utah June Primaries Could Be Conducted Almost Entirely Through Mail-In Ballots And Drive-Up Voting
KUER
(04/16/2020)

Salt Lake County jail won’t talk about its coronavirus outbreak
Salt Lake Tribune
(04/21/2020)

Robert Gehrke: The Salt Lake County jail is refusing to give the public access to coronavirus info we’re entitled to
Salt Lake Tribune
(04/22/2020)

Why Teenagers Seeking Abortion Care Are Texting ‘Abby’
Rewire News
(04/24/2020) 

Salt Lake County responds to ACLU-led lawsuit to release inmates
ABC4
(04/27/2020)

Salt Lake County Jail traces virus spread, boasts no current known cases
Deseret News 
(04/27/2020)

Utah jailers say they’re proud of their coronavirus response, reject lawsuit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(04/27/2020)

Utah jailers say they’re proud of their coronavirus response, reject lawsuit
Salt Lake Tribune 
(04/27/2020)

Utah A.G. halts $21 million Banjo contract as founder’s past ties with KKK unveiled
Deseret News 
(04/28/2020)

 

 

March 2020 

Utah proposal to add warning label to porn moves forward
AP
(03/01/2020) 

Utah ultrasound abortion bill greenlighted by House committee
Deseret News
(03/03/2020) 

Utah Senate votes to ban all elective abortions — if Supreme Court ever allows it
(03/02/2020) 

Utah ultrasound abortion bill greenlighted by House committee
Deseret News 
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County conducting 'pilot', elects for one polling location
FOX13
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County move to Election Day voting at Union Station surprises, miffs some
Standard Examiner
(03/03/2020) 

Pre-abortion ultrasound mandate progresses to Utah House
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/03/2020) 

Weber County has just one polling station. Is that enough?
KUTV 
(03/04/2020) 

Bills to widen public access to jail documents advance in Utah Legislature
Ogden Standard Examiner 
(03/05/2020) 

Utah company Banjo is building a massive surveillance system with the help of the state’s attorney general
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/08/2020) 

Utah abortion ban, ultrasound requirement bills approved by committees
Deseret News 
(03/09/2020) 

Anti-Abortion Bills Advance As Lawmaker Draws Criticism For ‘Magic Word’ Comments
KSL TV
(03/10/2020) 

The Utah State Legislature declines to fund Banjo, and now could look at regulating it
FOX 13 
(03/10/2020) 

Utah Takes Cues From Courts On Anti-Abortion Bills
KUER
(03/10/2020) 

Exclusive: Utah tech CEO tells 2News he welcomes an audit after privacy criticism
KUTV
(03/10/2020)

Provo representative’s prosecutor, county jail data bill advances through Senate committee
Provo Daily Herald
(03/10/2020) 

Utah spent $250K on a surveillance company instead of a lifesaving overdose drug
Salt Lake Tribune
(03/10/2020)

Bill aims to ‘create civility’ in public meetings by increasing penalties for disruptive behavior
St. George News
(03/10/2020)

Coronavirus and crime: Jail counts fall as police give non-violent offenders citations, not handcuffs
Ogden Standard Examiner
(03/30/2020)

February 2020 

Highland lawmaker introduces bill to require warning labels on pornographic material
Daily Herald 
(02/04/2020) 

Utah bill requires warning label for pornographic material
KUTV
(02/04/2020) 

Utah anti-pornography bill would require labels warning of ‘low self-esteem,’ ‘addictive sexual behavior’
Salt Lake Tribine
(02/04/2020) 

Lawmaker wants warning labels on pornography
Utah Policy
(02/04/2020) 

A Proposed Utah Law Would Require Porn to Have Warning Labels About Its Dangers
Relevant
(02/05/2020) 

Utah Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Pornography to Have a Warning Label
ChristianHeadlines.com
(02/06/2020) 

Salt Lake City’s Homeless Relocation Plan Backfires
Invisible People
(02/10/2020) 

Bigamy is a felony in Utah. A new bill would change it to an infraction
CNN 
(02/11/2020) 

Polygamy bill passes Utah Senate committee
FOX 13 
(02/10/2020) 

Porn warning label bill passes out of Utah House committee
FOX 13 
(02/11/2020) 

Bill sponsored by Provo lawmaker would require prosecutors to track data on race, gender
Daily Herald
(02/10/2020) 

Utah porn warning label proposal gains despite some mocking
AP
(02/12/2020) 

Committee approves bill requiring warning on pornography
Deseret News/KSL
(02/11/2020) 

More Tweaks To Utah’s Medical Cannabis Law Aim To Clear Criminal Records
KUER
(02/12/2020)

Polls shows Utahns aren’t concerned about facial recognition software. Lawmakers and privacy advocates say they should be.
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/13/2020) 

Pornography warning label bill clears House committee
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/11/2020) 

Utahns, lawmaker disagree on police use of DNA databases
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/17/2020) 

Bill to protect children from parental drug, alcohol abuse moves to the Senate
KUTV
(02/18/2020) 

Porn warning label bill passes the Utah House
FOX 13 
(02/18/2020) 

Utah bill would impose a pre-abortion ultrasound requirement
SLTrib
(02/20/2020) 

A ban on elective abortions has been introduced in the Utah State Legislature
FOX 13
(02/21/2020) 

Utah lawmakers eyeing more restrictions on abortion
Deseret News
(02/23/2020) 

Utah’s bill on fetal remains highlights abortion battle lines
Salt Lake Tribune 
(02/23/2020) 

Poll suggests most Utahns oppose additional abortion restrictions
ABC4 
(02/24/2020)

Poll: Utahns say state doesn't need more restrictions on abortion
KSL
(02/24/2020) 

A bill to ban elective abortions in Utah won't take effect unless Roe v. Wade is overturned
FOX 13 
(02/24/2020) 

Polygamy bill clears a Utah House committee
FOX13
(02/24/2020)

Utah Abortion Ban Bill Doesn't Represent Will Of The People, Planned Parenthood Says
KUER (NPR) 
(02/24/2020) 

Lehi could be Utah's next sanctuary city for the unborn
KUTV 
(02/24/2020) 

Poll: Most Utahns would oppose tighter abortion restrictions
Salt Lake Tribune
(02/24/2020) 

Utah woman takes plea deal in case of stepchildren seeing her topless
Deseret News
(02/25/2020) 

Utah woman pleads guilty to lewdness for being topless in her own home
SL Trib
(02/25/2020) 

Utah could charge for mandated pre-abortion ultrasounds under new bill language
SL Trib
(02/25/2020) 

Utah woman accused of being topless with stepkids takes plea deal
AP
(02/26/2020) 

Black Lives Matter Chapter Opens In Southern Utah
KUER
(02/26/2020) 

Pornography labeling bill sponsored by Highland representative passes through Utah Senate committee
Herald Extra 
(02/26/2020) 

Utah abortion ban proposal gets early nod from lawmakers
AP
(02/27/2020) 

Robert Gehrke: Making laws to make political points is nothing new, but here are a few glaring examples
SL Trib 
(02/27/2020) 

Utah abortion ultrasound bill fuels heated debate in House committee
Deseret News
(02/28/2020) 

Bill to regulate facial recognition technology in Utah is unveiled in the legislature
FOX 13
(02/29/2020) 

January 2020 

Homeless Hearts
City Weekly
(01/02/2020)

Police could be banned from accessing home DNA test data under a bill in the Utah legislature
Fox 13
(01/02/2020)

Utah DPS facing scrutiny over face recognition
Planet Biometrics
(01/03/2020) 

Catholic Community Services, Pulse for Good aim to improve experience for homeless clients
Salt Lake Tribune
(01/03/2020) 

Big data, high-tech tools enhancing law enforcers’ jobs
Deseret News
(01/06/2020) 

Give Them Shelter
City Weekly
(01/09/2020) 

Davis sheriff's office cites 100% compliance in latest annual jail inspection
Standard-Examiner
(01/08/2020) 

Court rejects Allred's request to disqualify judge in gang injunction case
Standard-Examiner
(01/09/2020) 

Weber County loses bid to remove a judge for calling an attorney a ‘liar’
Salt Lake Tribune
(01/09/2020) 

Summit County aims to highlight the census at Monday town hall
Park Record
(01/13/2020) 

Reese: Homeless Utahns Are Being Ignored
Daily Chronicle 
(01/12/2020) 

Polémica por placa de auto con mensaje antiinmigrante
Telemundo Utah 
(01/13/2020) 

Tampon tax discussion must include every person who menstruates.
City Weekly
(01/15/2020) 

The Justice Files: Legislation would restrict DNA usage
ABC 4 
(01/17/2020) 

LGBT activists say new bills, including ones in Utah, target transgender youth
Salt Lake Tribune/AP
(01/19/2020) 

Proposed Bill Would Block Law Enforcement From Accessing Your DNA Test Kit Info
KUER
(01/20/2020) 

Why did Utah officials approve a ‘FUHRER’ license plate? They won’t say.
SLTrib 
(01/20/2020) 

Judge deals blow to woman charged for being topless at home
ABC 4 
(01/21/2020) 

Judge won’t toss charges for woman who was topless in front of stepchildren
Deseret News
(01/21/2020) 

Judge upholds Utah’s lewdness statute in case involving topless woman inside her own home
FOX13
(01/21/2020) 

Judge rejects challenge from Utah woman charged for being topless in her own home
SLTrib 
(01/21/2020) 

Utah Judge Upholds Lewdness Law in Case of Woman Charged with Being Topless at Home
Newsweek
(01/21/2020) 

Judge deals blow to Utah woman charged for being topless at home in front of stepchildren
AP
(01/22/2020) 

Mayors Erin Mendenhall and Jenny Wilson ask Utah courts to let ‘Dreamers’ practice law
FOX13
(01/22/2020) 

Utah court rules against Salt Lake City woman charged with lewdness after stepchildren saw her topless
New York Daily News 
(01/22/2020) 

Utah woman charged after going topless in front of stepkids inside own home faces setback in court
FOX News
(01/22/2020) 

Utah Judge Rules Against Woman Who Was Topless in Her Own Garage
New York Times
(01/22/2020) 

Previewing the 2020 Utah Legislative Session
KCPW
(01/23/2020) 

Utah Judge Rules Against Topless Stepmom's Equal Protection Challenge
Reason.com
(01/23/2020) 

Stepmom in Utah Could Still Go to Jail for Hanging Drywall Topless in Her Own Home
VICE 
(01/22/2020) 

Orem lawmaker drafting bill to ban hormone therapy, surgery for transgender minors
Daily Herald
(01/25/2020) 

Undocumented ‘Dreamers’ can now become attorneys in Utah
Salt Lake Tribune 
(01/30/2020) 

View items...

The Constitutional Law Section of the Utah State Bar and the ACLU of Utah Present a CLE by Jameel Jaffer Titled: “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance: From the 1976 Church Committee to the 2007 Protect America Act”

31 August 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 1, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY--This breakfast CLE will be held on Friday, September 28, 2007 at 8:00 a.m. at the law firm of Snell & Wilmer. Section business, including elections for board officers, will be conducted after the CLE. Cost is $15 or $10 for section members. Please RSVP to Beth Johnson at (801) 257-1991 by September 21. Jameel Jaffer is a litigator for the American Civil Liberties Union and director of the ACLU’s National Security Program. Currently, his docket includes Doe v. Gonzales, a challenge to the FBI’s “national security letter” power; ACLU v. National Security Agency, a challenge to the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance conducted by the NSA; American Academy of Religion v. Chertoff, a challenge to the government’s refusal to grant a visa to Swiss scholar Tariq Ramadan; and ACLU v. Department of Defense, litigation under the Freedom of Information Act for records concerning the treatment and detention of prisoners held by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq, and at Guantanamo Bay. Jaffer has argued national security cases in the district and appellate courts and has testified before Congress about government surveillance. His book about ACLU v. Department of Defense, titled “Administration of Torture” and co-written with ACLU…

ACLU of Utah Welcomes Staff Attorney Marina Baginsky Lowe

30 May 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2007 SALT LAKE CITY -- The ACLU of Utah is pleased to announce that it has selected Marina Baginsky Lowe as its new staff attorney. Lowe is a 2004 graduate of Hastings College of Law where she excelled in international moot court competitions and served as a teacher’s assistant. She has continued her interest in moot court by coaching law students in Jessup International Law moot court competitions for a number of years.  Before moving to Salt Lake City in 2006, Lowe was an associate with Morgan Lewis & Bockius in San Francisco for several years. Most recently, she worked for the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association in its criminal appellant division. Prior to law school, Lowe spent two years working in France with Hewlett-Packard Corporation as a marketing project manager. ACLU of Utah Executive Director Karen McCreary cited Lowe’s passion for civil liberties as one of the main reasons for her selection. “The search committee was extremely impressed by Marina’s skills, engaging personality, and strong commitment to civil liberties and the ACLU,” said McCreary. “We are very excited to have her join us.”  ###

Christopher M. Finan, President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, to Speak at ACLU of Utah Bill of Rights Celebration

15 April 2007 Published in Newsroom
 Editorial Cartoonist Pat Bagley Will Also Be Honored at the Dinner FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY -- On Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 6:00 p.m., the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah will host its annual Bill of Rights Celebration at the Sheraton Hotel in Salt Lake City. The benefit dinner offers Utahns a chance to support the work of the ACLU of Utah Foundation and to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of civil liberties. This year’s Bill of Rights Celebration will feature special guest and speaker Christopher M. Finan. Finan is the president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), an organization established by the American Booksellers Association in 1990 to defend the First Amendment rights of booksellers and their customers. Finan has been involved in the fight against censorship for over twenty-five years. In addition to his work with ABFFE, he is chairman of the board of directors of the National Coalition Against Censorship and is a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation. His new book, From the Palmer Raids to the PATRIOT Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America, will be…

Planned Parenthood & ACLU Rally for Choice Utahns Need Birth Control Not Bans

11 February 2007 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 12, 2007  SALT LAKE CITY -- On Thursday, February 15 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. a rally will be held at the Utah State Capitol Plaza to oppose House Bill 235, a bill that would criminalize abortion in Utah. Today the House substituted a so-called “trigger” bill. Either way one bill would directly challenge Roe v. Wade if it is signed into law and the other would impose an abortion ban at some uncertain time in the future. Both versions violate a woman’s constitutional right to decide whether or not to have a child, which is among the most fundamental and private decisions a person can make. Instead of preventing abortion by providing access to family planning and comprehensive sex education, this legislature wants to take away a woman’s choice, a private personal and medical decision that is made by roughly 3,000 women in Utah a year. 66% of women who have abortions in Utah are mothers, mothers who have to make gut wrenching decisions for the welfare of their families. Even in a recent Dan Jones & Associates poll conducted for the Deseret Morning News and KSL-TV, 52% of Utahns oppose adopting a law that would outlaw…

ACLU of Utah Announces New Executive Director

12 November 2006 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 13, 2006 SALT LAKE CITY -- The board of directors of the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is pleased to announce that it has selected Karen McCreary, an attorney and dedicated community volunteer, to be the new executive director of the organization.  ACLU of Utah President Sue Marquardt, who served as chair of the search committee, noted that McCreary’s extensive legal and community service experience make her an ideal fit for the ACLU of Utah. “Karen’s intellect, accomplishments, enthusiasm, wide range of experience, and sense of humor are just several of the reasons for the board’s unanimous decision to choose her to direct the Utah ACLU affiliate,” said Marquardt.  McCreary’s professional legal experience includes over a dozen years as associate and senior associate general counsel for the University of Utah. She has also worked as general counsel for the Western Governors University, has been an associate attorney at a private law firm, and a judicial law clerk for Federal Court Judge David Winder.  In addition to her legal career, McCreary has been involved in a variety of service activities, including international relief work in Africa and India, migrant worker education and advocacy in Alabama, and…

Utah Court Rules Anti-Gay Amendment Doesn’t Bar Salt Lake City from Offering Domestic Partner Benefits

15 May 2006 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 16, 2006  SALT LAKE CITY –  A Utah court has ruled that its anti-gay relationship amendment, one of the most sweeping of its kind to pass in the 2004 elections, does not bar Salt Lake City from offering health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of city employees. The American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a lesbian employee of the Salt Lake City Police Department and the local branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), cheered the decision as an important victory for lesbian and gay couples in states with similar anti-gay relationship amendments. “The court understood correctly that laws banning gay people from marriage do not in any way bar employers from choosing to provide domestic partner benefits,” said Margaret Plane of the ACLU of Utah. “The court recognized that employers have important reasons for wanting to provide health insurance for the families of all their employees, and it’s within their rights to do so.” On September 21, 2005, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson signed an executive order extending health and other employment benefits to city employees’ same-sex and heterosexual domestic partners. The…

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

12 April 2006 Published in Newsroom
Download a PDF of this release >>Download the complete complaint (PDF) >> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 2013 SALT LAKE CITY—Late yesterday, 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. The prisoners allege that corrections officers failed to answer emergency call buttons during the incident. They further allege that some officers made light of their situation during and after the incident, with some laughing about it and others discouraging complaints. The prisoners also contend that officials failed to provide them adequate physical and mental health attention after the incident. Prison officials have acknowledged that the incident…

ACLU of Utah files friend-of-the-court brief in support of domestic partner benefits for Salt Lake City employees

14 November 2005 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 10, 2005 PDF version >>   Dianna Goodliffe (right) with her partner Lisa and their daughter SALT LAKE CITY -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a friend-of-the-court brief today in support of a Salt Lake City executive order that extends health and other employment benefits to city employees’ same-sex and unmarried heterosexual domestic partners. For Salt Lake City Police Department employee Dianna Goodliffe, the city’s executive order is welcome news. For almost six years, she has been in a committed and loving relationship with her partner Lisa, with whom she has a four-year-old daughter. “I’m so pleased that Salt Lake City recognizes that there’s really no difference between my family and the families of my married coworkers,” said Goodliffe. “Right now, my partner has benefits through her employer, but we all know how quickly that can change. Now we have the same options and opportunities as others.” One year ago, Goodliffe and her partner’s daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, making health insurance a particularly important consideration. Like all parents, Goodliffe and her partner want to do what’s best for their family, which, in the future, may include Lisa working part-time or staying at…

ACLU Delivers Patriot Act Reform Petition to Congressman Bishop

05 October 2005 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 6, 2005  PDF version >>  SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Congressman Robert Bishop received a petition from constituents today urging him to protect the modest reforms in the Senate version of Patriot Act reauthorization legislation. The petition, gathered in a joint effort between the ACLU and Working Asset's Act for Change program, is seeking his support to change some of the most controversial and secretive powers expanded by the Patriot Act, which may be voted on as early as next week. "By signing this petition, Utah residents are standing up for their civil liberties, while urging Congressman Bishop to do the same," said Dani Eyer, Executive Director of the ACLU of Utah. "The Senate version is a step in the right direction, helping to bring some parts of the Patriot Act in line with the Constitution by restoring checks and balances on government power." The Senate version revises several of the Patriot Act’s most controversial provisions. For example, the Senate bill puts a four-year sunset on the government’s ability to secretly demand library, medical, financial, or gun ownership records. The Senate bill also ensures that the government must demonstrate, to a judge, some facts warranting the…

ACLU of Utah files amicus brief on behalf of transgender employee

04 October 2005 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 5, 2005 PDF version >> SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH--The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah announced today that it has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in an important case regarding the rights of transgender employees.  The brief is on behalf of Krystal Etsitty, a former Utah Transit Authority employee, who was fired shortly after she revealed to her employers that she is a transsexual. Although UTA had received no complaints about Etsitty, her employers informed her that she was being terminated because they could not determine which restroom she should use.  Etsitty, represented by the law firm of Strindberg Scholnick & Chamness, argued in federal court that she was protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, including nonconformity to sex stereotypes. In June 2005, the district court granted summary judgment to UTA, holding that transsexuals are not protected by Title VII, and that even if Title VII did apply, UTA’s decision was not based on Etsitty’s lack of conformity to sex stereotypes. Etsitty has now asked the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the district court’s decision. Etsitty, who identifies and lives as a woman, has…

Utah State Tax Commission Approves Personalized License Plates with Gay-Positive Messages

26 May 2005 Published in Newsroom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 27, 2005 PDF version >> SALT LAKE CITY--In a win for free speech, the Utah State Tax Commission has ruled that it will approve three personalized license plates with gay-positive messages. The ruling is a first for the commission, which, until this decision, had never approved a personalized plate containing the word “gay.”  In December, Elizabeth Solomon applied for three personalized license plates: “GAY WE GO,” “GAYS R OK,” and “GAY RYTS.” After the Tax Commission approved the “GAY WE GO” plate but denied the application of the latter two plates, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah represented Solomon in appealing the decision. “I have kids who are gay and I wanted these plates so that I could publicly express support for my children,” said Solomon, explaining why she applied for the personalized plates. “I’m delighted that I will now be able to do so.” Margaret Plane, ACLU of Utah staff attorney, was also pleased by the Tax Commission’s decision. “Too often, public officials are scared by the word ‘gay’ and they refuse to recognize that gays and lesbians are an increasingly public and positive part of our communities,” said Plane. “The commission rightly recognized…

ACLU of Utah Asks the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to Review the Constitutionality of the Main Street Plaza Restrictions

04 June 2001 Published in Newsroom
SALT LAKE CITY--In a case raising important questions about the future of free speech in public places, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah today asked the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the constitutionality of the restrictions Salt Lake City agreed to when it sold a central downtown block of Main Street to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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