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Why Virginia Should Decriminalize Marijuana

BLOG: The 2015 Virginia General Assembly session begins tomorrow, and Senators and Delegates are not wasting any time. For its first hearing of the session, the Senate Courts of Justice committee has added SB 686 to its agenda. This bill would ensure a commonsense, responsible response to the use, possession, and sale of marijuana. read more »

In Memory of BJ Ostergren, a Great Civil Libertarian

BLOG: On Tuesday, Virginia lost one of its staunchest advocates for privacy and free speech. As one who was privileged to know and work with BJ Ostergren, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on her accomplishments. read more »

Yes, Virginia, The ACLU Celebrates Christmas, too

BLOG: In 2014, we defended the right of the Richmond chapter of the National Day of Prayer to be granted a permit to host an National Day of Prayer in the Capitol Square. We also defended the right of a Virginia Community College student to conduct on campus evangelizing. These are just two examples of how we have protected and will continue to protect the right of all individuals to celebrate their faith, including celebrating Christmas, without government interference and without fear that government will ever promote one religion over another. read more »

“I’m a Boy, so Why Won’t My School Allow Me to Use the Boys’ Bathroom?”

BLOG: In the summer of my freshman year I got the courage to tell my mother something that I had known for a long time. I told her that I was a boy. She had nothing but love and support for me. read more »

“I Should Not Be Afraid”

BLOG: In 2014 America, I should not be afraid of being the mother of an African American man; I should feel free to be very proud. But the sad, angry, upsetting, and disappointing truth is I and, I imagine, many other mothers, are afraid for our sons and grandsons because we are afraid of law enforcement and how they’ll be treated. read more »

The 2015 Legislative Session and Protecting Reproductive Freedom

BLOG: Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, Virginia has passed 13 laws restricting a woman’s right to make reproductive health care decisions. We’ve been moving in the wrong direction, and that’s about to change. We’re working to change the conversation about abortion – to ensure that women feel supported and not judged if they choose abortion. read more »

The 2015 Legislative Session and LGBT Equality

BLOG: The tide is turning. A generation from now, we may look back on 2014 as the turning point in the fight for LGBT equality. But, while 2014 is the year marriage equality came to the Commonwealth, we will not have full equality for LGBT Virginians until we end discrimination in employment, housing, and access to services. read more »

Victory for Women’s Health in Virginia!

BLOG: Today, we celebrate a huge victory for women’s health in Virginia. The Virginia Board of Health approved the Virginia Health Commissioner’s recommendation to amend medically-unnecessary rules currently governing abortion providers in the Commonwealth, commonly referred to as Targeted Restrictions of Abortion Providers (TRAP). read more »

Using the 2015 Legislative Session to Rein in the Surveillance State

BLOG: According to the government, we must give up some liberty to secure our safety. Particularly since September 11, 2001, we’ve seen an increase in this rhetoric. read more »

Criminal Justice Reform During the 2015 Legislative Session

BLOG: Virginia’s criminal justice system is broken. The failed “War on Drugs” and “tough on crime” laws have led to a 735% increase in Virginia’s prison population since 1970. This has resulted in school policies that feed the school-to-prison pipeline, punitive criminal laws that have no basis in evidence, and policing practices that disproportionately target communities of color and incentivize harsh police tactics. read more »

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