open to all two women


We can be pretty sure that each new day will bring two things: new threats to our civil liberties, and new stories of people standing up for their rights and winning. Behind every court ruling is a person. Behind every landmark law is a movement. Read the stories and hear the voices that ground our work.

house in hands

An Open Letter to California Officials: Housing First

Jan 01, 2020
After she became homeless, Callie Rutter entered Bridges at Kraemer Place, an emergency shelter that promises to "connect participants to housing as quickly as possible." For her, however, the shelter has been a bridge to nowhere. The program claims to place residents in a home in six months or less. But Callie has lived at the shelter — a converted warehouse that holds around 200 people — for ... Read More
Gold Chains social media image, slave ship embodied and logo

Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California

Nov 14, 2019
There is a story we tell ourselves about being American. Much of it is a lie. Two dates that students throughout the country are required to memorize to inform an American identity are 1492, when Columbus supposedly “discovered” America, and 1776, when the United States claimed sovereignty from England and through the Declaration of Independence declared: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, ... Read More
man posing

We Must Stop Forcing Conformity on Intersex Bodies

Oct 24, 2019
A core aspect of human autonomy and dignity is to be able to make decisions about our own bodies. But each year, doctors around the country continue to perform medically unnecessary, harmful surgeries on intersex infants and children, just to “normalize” their bodies. What this means is that doctors are forcing infants and young children to undergo medically unnecessary genital surgery simply to f... Read More
Father of transgender child

My Employer Denied My Transgender Daughter Equal Health Care

Oct 22, 2019
When our oldest child came out to us as transgender, my wife and I faced a steep learning curve. As part of this learning process, we discovered that transgender adolescents have significantly higher rates of depression and suicide than other teens. Learning about the struggles of those with untreated gender dysphoria—the condition of experiencing a conflict between one’s assigned gender and ge... Read More
Police body cam

California Just Blocked Police Body Cam Use of Face Recognition

Oct 11, 2019
The state of California just made it clear: Face recognition surveillance isn’t inevitable. We can — and should — fight hard to protect our communities from this dystopian technology. Building on San Francisco’s first-of-its-kind ban on government face recognition, California this week enacted a landmark law that blocks police from using body cameras for spying on the public. The state-wide law... Read More
Evan Minton Victory Graphic

Catholic Hospitals Don't Have a License to Discriminate

Sep 23, 2019
The California Court of Appeal recently ruled 3-0 that our client Evan Minton can pursue his discrimination case against the Sacramento-area hospital that in 2016 denied him access to surgery just because he’s transgender. Although this is an important victory for Evan, it also marks a big step in the broader journey toward justice in health care. Across the country, transgender people face bar... Read More
Abortion pill

California Is Ready to Ensure Every Public College Student Has Access to Abortion

Sep 19, 2019
In a year when we’ve seen states throughout the South and Midwest move to ban abortion and restrict access to reproductive health, California could soon cement its reputation as a leader in reproductive freedom. This past week, the state legislature passed SB 24 to ensure that medication abortion is available to college students in public universities. Jessy Rosales, a UC student, struggled wit... Read More
Car being towed

California is Pushing People Deeper into Poverty by Towing Their Cars for Non-Safety Reasons

Aug 22, 2019
Living in California is already expensive enough for working families – paying rent, paying for childcare, putting food on the table, etc. – without also having to pay to retrieve a towed car. But every year, California local governments push countless families that are struggling to make ends meet deeper into poverty by towing their legally parked cars. Hundreds of thousands of cars are towed eac... Read More
Girl holding #AB 392 sign

California is About to Enact One of the Strongest Laws to Prevent Police Shootings

Aug 19, 2019
California families impacted by police violence, advocates, and allies just made history. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 392, the California Act to Save Lives, a bill to address police shootings – one of the most pressing forms of police violence afflicting Black and brown communities in the state. With this new law, California will go from having one of the deadliest, most permissive use ... Read More
person holding a #freethevote sign in front of a crowd of people

Our Democracy Needs Everyone, Including People on Parole

Aug 16, 2019
After a parole board granted Richard Mireles his freedom earlier this year, he was shocked to learn that he still couldn’t cast a vote in California, the state he had lived in since he was born. Just three months shy of his 21st birthday, a court gave Richard a life sentence on his first felony case. In the two decades of his incarceration, Richard worked hard to change his life. He got sober, wor... Read More
Photo of pillars, SB 144

California’s Justice System is a Debt Trap

Aug 05, 2019
Erica Smith was making a fresh start. After being forced out of her home by domestic violence, she had spent the last three years cycling between homelessness and jail for petty offenses. But with the help of reentry organization Starting Over Inc., she finally secured stable housing and a job helping women who had experienced challenges like hers. She found community support in the Riverside chap... Read More
We have rights poster

WE HAVE RIGHTS: To prepare for encounters with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Jul 09, 2019
The American Civil Liberties Union along with Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), created “We Have Rights,” a national immigrant empowerment campaign to inform immigrant communities of what to do when interacting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The campaign centers around four animated videos available in seven languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Haitian Creole... Read More