Stories from the ACLU of Washington

Published: 
Friday, September 24, 2010
Consensual sexting should not be a crime for teens or adults. The frightening reality, however, is that our current child pornography laws coupled with modern technology have the potential to create a sex offender registry populated with the children it was intended to protect and a generation of teenagers who will reach the age of majority already convicted as child sex offenders. This is not what child pornography laws were meant for, and the time has come to address the issue rationally and reasonably, before it is too late. Read more
Published: 
Friday, September 24, 2010
Today, in Federal District Court, Judge Ronald Leighton ordered that the Air Force reinstate Major Margaret Witt, a dedicated flight nurse that had been dismissed under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. This is an exciting moment for everyone who believes in equality and an important advance in the fight to end discrimination against LGBT Americans in the military and in society at large. Perhaps most importantly, it is also a homecoming.
Published: 
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The landmark trial of Maj. Margaret Witt wrapped up yesterday, and Judge Ronald B. Leighton announced that he will deliver his decision this Friday at 1:30 PM PDT. Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Last week saw the release of two annual federal government reports which highlight the pervasiveness of Marijuana in the U.S. Unfortunately, only one of these reports received attention from U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske. Read more
Published: 
Monday, September 20, 2010
Opponents of sex education for teens have long argued that providing sex education in schools encourages teens to engage in sexual activity. Research has conclusively refuted this and has effectively proven the opposite: sex education in schools makes it more likely that teens will delay sexual initiation. Read more
Published: 
Friday, September 17, 2010
I watched the Storm’s championship-clinching game last night with my 11-year-old daughter.  To her it was an exciting game, to me it also was a political event.  I’ve been a Title IX advocate for 25 years, and I still can’t contain my sense of accomplishment when I see prominent coverage of women’s sports. (And I still sometimes get choked up when I see a team of girls swarm a soccer field or a basketball court). Read more
Published: 
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Testimony from former members of Maj. Witt’s unit, the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, filled the third day of the trial. Leading off was Jill Robinson, who spent 23 years in the Air Force. Inspiring her service was a recruiting poster for the Air Force Reserves that featured Maj. Witt on the cover. Read more
Published: 
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Day 2 of Witt v. Air Force started with testimony from Darren Manzella, who served in the Army for six years as a health care specialist after enlisting in 2002 and was twice deployed to the Middle East. His testimony focused on the need for honesty about oneself in building a team, saying “In the military, trust is essential.” Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
“Dynamic officer” … “A vital team player” …”Exceptional flight nurse” … “Excellent role model” … “Always ready to support the mission.” ACLU of Washington Legal Director Sarah Dunne led off her opening argument with these words from Air Force performance reviews for Major Margaret Witt at different times. Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
After opening statements, Jim Schaffer, current Spokane Fire Department Captain and former 446th unit member, began his testimony. Before retiring from the Air Force in 2006, he and Major Witt served on the same flight crew on a number of missions and were deployed together a number of times. Schaffer spoke about Mjr. Witt’s stellar career and told stories of how her calm, cool, and collected nature, plus with her ability to include all team members, help their team succeed and save lives. He told of a particular occasion where a Dept. of Defense civilian went into cardiac arrest while aboard a plane, and Maj. Witt’s ability to accurately assess the situation made sure that the person survived. Read more

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