This was a year of cheers, jeers, and fears:
Cheers for the progress we’ve made toward gaining the freedom to marry for all Virginians; jeers for those who have responded to advances in women’s and LGBT rights by seeking licenses to discriminate and for those who have enacted new laws that suppress voting rights; and fears that all too often drive the willingness to elevate security over liberty and to limit the civil and political rights of minority groups.
The ACLU of Virginia is proud to be at the forefront of bringing the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Virginia, as we were in challenging the historical ban on interracial marriage. We are also proud to be leading the way in protecting the privacy of Virginians from government surveillance and attacking the militarization of state and local police.
Sometimes, it’s just about being there to protect the right of one anonymous teen to be free from mandatory religious practice in a locality where being different means being bullied. Sometimes, it’s about trying to reform an entire criminal justice system -- from stop and frisk, to mandatory minimum sentencing, to the death penalty. Regardless, the ACLU of Virginia is and will be there.