"Legal discrimination between the sexes is, in almost every instance, founded on outmoded views of society and the pre-scientific beliefs about psychology and physiology. It is time to sweep away these relics of the past and set further generations free of them."
-- Shirley Chisholm, 1972 Presidential Candidate
The struggle to expunge all gender-based laws based on custom, stereotype and paternalism has been largely successful in this country. Gender discrimination has been banned, by federal and state law, in employment, education and housing. The right to abortion, while under attack, is still guaranteed by the Constitution. Labor laws that in the name of protecting women served to keep them out of better paying jobs have been abolished. As a result, women and gender minorities today participate in all realms of society on a more equal basis than ever before. However, many women and gender minorities, especially those who are immigrants, of color, and/or low-income, continue to struggle.
The ACLU has argued more women's rights cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other organization. The ACLU was the first national organization to argue for abortion rights before the Supreme Court, and has been the principal defender of those rights since 1973, when the Court recognized the right to choose in Roe v. Wade.
In Oregon, the ACLU has helped gain equality in sports for young women wanting to participate in sports traditionally once thought of as reserved exclusively for young men, including football, baseball and wrestling. In addition, the ACLU of Oregon is currently fighting for the rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming people through pushing back against discrimination in schools and ensuring that incarcerated trans people receive necessary medical care.
The ACLU will continue our commitment to ensure that women and gender minorities are free to live and work as equals, with full personal control over their destinies.