Believing that a violation of a person’s individual rights imperils the rights of all, the ACLU works to extend basic freedoms to the nation’s most vulnerable populations. This includes members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and those afflicted with HIV or living with AIDS.
The struggle of LGBT people for full equality is one of this generation’s most important and galvanizing civil rights movements. Despite the many advances that have been made, LGBT people continue to face discrimination in many areas of life. No federal law prevents a person from being fired or refused a job on the basis of sexual orientation. The nation’s largest employer -- the U.S. military -- openly discriminates against gays and lesbians. Mothers and fathers still lose child custody simply because they are gay or lesbian. And gay people still are denied the right to marry in Oregon and most other states.
The ACLU has actively supported the struggle for lesbian and gay civil rights since the 1960s. The ACLU of Oregon has helped lead the way in this state to honor the equal protection provision of the Oregon Constitution, Article I, section 20, to protect all Oregonians including LGBT. We will continue to fight to provide protection for family relationships, including marriage equality; to advocate for LGBT youth and youth groups to organize and speak out; to oppose laws that criminalize sexual intimacy; to support laws that prohibit discrimination; and to preserve the right to free expression and association for LGBT persons.