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Ian Thompson
Ian Thompson is a Legislative Representative in the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. In this capacity, Thompson works to advance the organization’s civil liberties and civil rights agenda in Congress and the executive branch by focusing on LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS and sex education.

Thompson previously worked as the Senior Legislative Assistant and started his ACLU career as a field assistant, where he helped organize ACLU members and activists across the country and collaborated with state affiliate offices in support of the ACLU’s national legislative agenda.

Prior to joining the ACLU in January 2006, Thompson interned in the Washington, DC office of Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). A 2005 graduate of Penn State University, Thompson holds a degree in International Politics.

Entries by Ian Thompson

1,800 Days and Counting

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 2:30 PM

As a candidate for president in 2008, then-Senator Obama told the Houston GLBT Political Caucus that, if elected, he would support an LGBT nondiscrimination requirement for businesses that contract with the federal government. President Obama has now been in office for more than 1,800 days, and yet there is...

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DOMA Zombies Surface in Congress

(6) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 9:29 AM

Since the Supreme Court's landmark Windsor ruling last June striking down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA), the federal government has moved, with commendable speed, in a myriad of areas to extend recognition to the marriages of same-sex couples.

For example, in August, the...

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Is a 'Magic Wand' Needed to Fix Anti-Discrimination Bill?

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 4:28 PM

In a wide-ranging interview with Salon's Josh Eidelson, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, was asked several questions about efforts to protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Sen. Baldwin was also asked for...

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Anti-Gay Argle-Bargle

(6) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 11:12 AM

For far too long, the dual discrimination of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" dishonored the service and sacrifice of gay and lesbian members of the Armed Forces. But that's all in the past now, right?

Not if some governors have their way.

Following the...

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DOMA's Defeat a Clear Victory for Same-Sex Binational Couples

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 1:01 PM

As pissed-off and heartbroken as advocates for LGBT rights were over the failure to include same-sex binational couples in the Senate immigration bill last month, Wednesday's defeat of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Supreme Court was a clear and decisive victory for these committed, loving couples.

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The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 3:11 PM

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill always touches on a range of important ACLU...

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Momentum Continues to Build for Narrowing ENDA's Religious Exemption

(37) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 5:34 PM

The momentum behind efforts to narrow the current sweeping, unprecedented religious exemption in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- efforts strongly supported by the ACLU -- continues to build. As it stands, ENDA's religious exemption, which would extend far beyond churches, synagogues and mosques, could provide a blank...

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Sen. Portman, ENDA's Religious Exemption Is Already Too Broad

(5) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 8:27 PM

At an event hosted by BuzzFeed on Monday night, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said that he totally supports the concept of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) because "[t]his is about discrimination in the workplace, and there should be no discrimination, and there ought to be a...

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Why ENDA's Religious Exemption Must Be Narrowed

(14) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 12:46 PM

Remarkably, there are only 16 states that currently have workplace non-discrimination laws that are fully inclusive of LGBT people. This leaves LGBT people vulnerable to workplace discrimination in well over half of the country -- an unacceptable situation that must be changed.

To address this,...

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The Single Most Important Step Congress Could Take to Improve the Lives of LGBT Students

(4) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 4:52 PM

For those who work each and every day to secure basic fairness and equality under the law for LGBT Americans, the pace of positive momentum over the past several years has been dizzying. Particularly in the area of relationship recognition and the freedom to marry, forward movement -- from

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Historic Shift in Congress Against DOMA Mirrors Shift in Public Opinion in Favor of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 5:10 PM

On Friday, March 1, 212 members of Congress -- 172 representatives and 40 senators -- filed a historic brief in support of Edie Windsor's challenge to the discriminatory and unconstitutional so-called Defense of Marriage Act's (DOMA) exclusion of married same-sex couples from marriage-based federal responsibilities and rights.

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Following Historic Speech, Working to Realize the Promise of LGBT Equality Under the Law

(7) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 9:35 AM

President Obama made history on Monday by infusing his second inaugural address with a clarion call for LGBT equality under the law.  First, he linked the equality struggles for women’s rights, African-American civil rights and LGBT rights through the eloquent statement that:

We, the people, declare today that the...
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What the Supreme Court's Decision to Hear a Challenge to DOMA Should Mean for Same-Sex Binational Couples

(3) Comments | Posted December 12, 2012 | 2:49 PM

On Friday the Supreme Court agreed to hear Edie Windsor's challenge to the discriminatory, so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Despite the fact that Edie and her late spouse, Thea Spyer, were together for more than four decades and were legally married in Canada in 2007, DOMA required the...

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At DADT Repeal's One-Year Anniversary, Refusing to Turn Back the Clock

(3) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 11:41 AM

This Thursday, Sept. 20, marks one year since the discriminatory policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) finally came to an end, opening the door to service in the Armed Forces to all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation. It's a day worthy of celebration as a critical mile...

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Working Towards an LGBT-Inclusive Platform

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 11:35 AM

On Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reported that the draft 2012 Democratic National Platform includes, as part of an overall endorsement of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, a call for passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in Congress. This important legislation would completely repeal the discriminatory so-called...

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Let's Be Clear: Transgender Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination

(36) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 6:04 PM

Recently, the ACLU and numerous allied coalition partners wrote to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to request that HHS issue guidance to make clear that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's prohibition on sex discrimination applies to discrimination based on gender identity and sex stereotypes....

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ACLU Urges Critical LGBT and HIV/AIDS Updates to 2012 Democratic National Platform

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 2:43 PM

The ACLU has been invited to offer our civil liberties and civil rights recommendations to the Democratic National Committee’s “platform drafting committee,” which is currently meeting in Minneapolis to begin the process of putting together the 2012 Democratic National Platform. While the ACLU is a nonpartisan organization, we welcome opportunities...

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Historic NAACP Vote Signals the Ultimate Failure of Divisive NOM Strategy

(22) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 6:33 PM

On Saturday the Board of Directors of the NAACP, the nation's oldest, largest, and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization, passed a historic resolution in support of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. The NAACP said the resolution represents a continuation of its historic commitment to...

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Anti-Gay Pandering Cannot Stop Historic Momentum for LGBT Rights

(8) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 7:40 PM

What an amazing and historic week it has been for the cause of gay rights. On Wednesday, for the first time in our country's history, a sitting president of the United States said that he supports the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. President Obama's remarks carry...

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Racial Justice and LGBT Equality: Moving Beyond the Politics of 'Divide and Conquer'

(7) Comments | Posted April 30, 2012 | 4:51 PM

It was recently revealed in internal strategy memos from the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage that the organization hoped to pit racial and ethnic minorities against the LGBT community as a way to defeat and roll back gay rights advances, specifically marriage for same-sex couples. The memos included...

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