LGBTQ Rights

Equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.

Victories in the courts, legislatures, and court of public opinion

The struggle for legal equality for LGBTQ people rests on several fundamental constitutional principles:

  • Equal Protection is guaranteed by the 5th and 14th Amendments
  • Freedom of speech and association, including the right to form social and political organizations, to socialize, to produce works of art with LGBTQ themes, and to speak out, is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Since 1936, the ACLU has protected LGBTQ rights. Today, the ACLU brings more cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization does.

LGBTQ Rights

Dignity and Opportunity Act (SB 990)

Too often, LGBTQ people and others deemed vulnerable to assault in prison or jail are placed in segregated housing where they do not have access to the programming and work opportunities enjoyed by people in “general... Read More


California, Say Her Name

By Novella Coleman As stories of state violence against Black men and boys occupy many of the calls for police reform, countless stories of Black women and girls subjected to excessive force and police misconduct... Read More

LGBTQ Rights

Gender Health in Foster Care (AB 2119)

Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) youth are significantly overrepresented in California’s foster care system. Unfortunately, some personnel, caregivers, and providers harbor the same biases and... Read More

LGBTQ Rights

Governor Signs Bill Modernizing California HIV Laws

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law landmark legislation to reform outdated laws that unfairly criminalized and stigmatized people living with HIV. Senate Bill (SB) 239 was authored by Sen. Scott... Read More


The ACLU remembers Barnes-Wallace v. City of San Diego and the fight against the Boy Scouts’ discrimination against LGBTQ families

By Edward Sifuentes Earlier this year, the Boys Scouts of America announced a significant step towards becoming more inclusive. It said in a statement on Jan. 30 that transgender children would finally be able to... Read More