Stories from the ACLU of Washington

Published: 
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Last week the Seattle P-I publicized the fact that Seattle's University District needle exchange, privately funded and operated by the People's Harm Reduction Alliance, had added clean crack pipes to its arsenal of disease-prevention weapons.  KING 5 News picked up the story, as did KIRO Radio. Many of the reader comments posted to the stories reflect the expected divide in public opinion about needle exchange programs.  On the one hand are those who understand that certain strategies focused on reducing the societal and personal harms of drug abuse not only "meet addicts where they are" and provide a compassionate link to treatment and recovery, they also save tax dollars that would otherwise be spent on emergency rooms, hospitalization, and uninsured treatment of Hepatitis C, HIV, and AIDS.  On the other are those who think harm reduction strategies simply enable addiction, and addicts would be better served by a dose of "tough love" - or simply left to die from overdose or the diseases they contract. Read more
Published: 
Friday, August 6, 2010
A Washington State woman was featured in a recent newspaper article that triggered government investigations into pregnancy discrimination in mortgage lending. Federal law prohibits mortgage lenders from discriminating against borrowers based on pregnancy, as long as the borrowers can demonstrate that they intend to return to work and will be able to continue meeting the income requirements for the loan. And, although lenders may ask about borrowers’ incomes to determine loan eligibility, they may not use pregnancy or maternity leave as grounds to deny mortgages. Read more
Published: 
Monday, August 2, 2010
Washington, D.C. is not generally known for progressive drug policy reform, but last week it was host to the advancement of three laws that may help dismantle the failed War on Drugs. The Fair Sentencing Act is on its way to Obama's desk, medical marijuana will soon be available in D.C., and the Webb Commission is one step closer to being convened. Read more
Published: 
Friday, July 30, 2010
This week the ACLU and Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a joint report on people with mental disabilities in the US immigration system. Highlighting another tragic failing of our nation’s system for dealing with immigration, the report found that “people with mental disabilities, including US citizens and others with claims to remain in the US, receive unfair hearings and are at risk of erroneous deportation in the absence of courtroom safeguards.” Read more
Published: 
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Under federal Title IX and state law, girls and boys in Washington state are supposed to have equal opportunities to participate in high school sports All too often, however, boys’ opportunities far exceed girls’ because schools offer more boys sports, more squads within a sport, or bigger team rosters. Read more
Published: 
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A feature story in the Washington Post this week highlighted what has become a nationwide problem since 9/11: police and security officers interfering with the rights of people to take photographs. As the Post put it, “Almost nine years after the terrorist attacks, which ratcheted up security at government properties and transportation hubs, anyone photographing federal buildings, bridges, trains or airports runs the risk of being seen as a potential terrorist.” Read more
Published: 
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
This morning, a co-worker sent around an amazing video clip from last night. Not being a late-night television watcher, I missed the earth-shaking revelation that it shows. Bill O’Reilly (an avowed believer that the ACLU is terrorist organization) and the ACLU agreed on something! Watch the video
Published: 
Monday, July 26, 2010
Last week the California affiliates of the ACLU (Northern, Southern, and San Diego) endorsed Proposition 19, a cannabis reform initiative that will be on the ballot in November. Kudos to our ACLU peers in California. Prop 19 represents an important step forward in the development of rational marijuana policy.
Published: 
Friday, July 23, 2010
This week a federal court in Connecticut issued a ground-breaking decision in a Title IX athletics case brought by the ACLU against Quinnipiac University.  Title IX is the landmark legislation passed in 1972 which prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against students based on sex.  Title IX applies to all aspects of educational programming, including extracurricular athletic programs.
Published: 
Thursday, July 22, 2010
On Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25 from Noon–7:00 pm, the ACLU of Washington will be enjoying performance and visual arts, crafts, dances, foods and information from around the globe. Read more

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