In 1945 the ACLU opposed laws requiring prostitutes to submit to examinations or vaccinations, saying these violated the women's rights to "medical liberty."

In 1957 the board of directors declared that it was not the business of the ACLU "to evaluate the social validity of laws aimed at the suppression or elimination of homosexuals."


The ACLU's increasing success in the courtroom brings it a growing notoriety and increasing access to powerful financial and political resources.

In the late 60's American culture's increasing hostility toward Christian values frees the ACLU to make aggressive legal assaults on organized religions.

In 1967 the ACLU adopted a "pro-choice" position on abortion.


In 1975 the ACLU came out in favor of special rights for homosexuals.

In 1977 the ACLU initiated its "Reproductive Freedom Project" that, over the next 16 years, utilized 17 full-time employees and a budget of $2 million.


In 1986 the ACLU created its "Lesbian and Gay Rights" project.

September 1986 - The ACLU successfully sues fifth grade public school teacher Kenneth Roberts, forcing him to remove his personal Bible from his classroom desk. Roberts kept the Bible on top of his desk, and he read from it during his class' silent reading time. He never read it to his students or told them they had to read it. (Contrast this to the ACLU's actions in February and March, 2001, in Anaheim, California. This time, the ACLU threatened to sue the public school board if they did not put pro-homosexual propaganda on the shelves of the high school library.)

In 1988 the ACLU barred a doctor from telling a Kansas man's former wife that her ex-husband had tested positive for AIDS. In the words of the director of the ACLU's Privacy and Technology Project, "The benefits of confidentiality outweigh the possibility that somebody may be injured."

In 1989 the government granted tax exemptions for Satanists - a position the ACLU has supported.


In 1992 the ACLU persuaded a judge to approve adoption of a young boy by his mother's lesbian partner.

In 1993 in Pennsylvania the ACLU successfully opposed parental approval for teaching about substance abuse or human reproduction and forbade any discussion of morality and violence.

In 1995 the ACLU spoke out against the Flag Amendment which would have banned burnings and desecrations of the American flag.

March 1995 - The ACLU files a lawsuit against Alabama Circuit Judge Roy Moore to force him to discontinue prayer in his courtroom and remove a Ten Commandments plaque from the wall behind his bench. Judge Moore countersued, asking a state court to resolve the constitutionality of official acknowledgements of God. This was the beginning of an ongoing, on-again off-again series of legal battles between the ACLU and Judge Moore.

In 1996 the ACLU convinced the Supreme Court to overturn Colorado's "Amendment Two," regarding homosexual special rights.

In 1996 the ACLU worked with senators to defeat legislation providing federally-funded cash vouchers to students in Washington D.C.'s religious schools.

In 1997 the ACLU successfully beseeched the Supreme Court to protect the rights of pornographers on the Internet - including the right to show their images to children.

2000 - Present

May 2000 - Arizona Governor Jane Hull issues a proclamation celebrating the birth of Buddha. An ACLU spokesperson said, "Although we may think proclamations are inappropriate, they may not violate the Constitution." (In 1998, when Governor Hull issued a proclamation declaring a "Bible Week," the ACLU sued, claiming a violation of the so-called "separation of church and state.")

Janurary 2001 - At a press conference co-hosted by Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt, ACLU President Nadine Strossen lambasted Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft. Strossen claimed he had a "fundamental disdain for the Constitution," simply because he is pro-life, pro-family, favors common-sense restrictions on virtual (Internet) child pornography, and questions the notion of the so-called "separation of church and state."

April 2002 - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit struck down a Colorado law requiring parents be notified when their underage daughters sought abortions. The ACLU supported the suit to have the law struck down.

April 2002 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down major portions of the Child Pornography Protection Act, which prohibited Internet porn hawkers from making "virtual" child pornography. The ACLU immediately declared victory, calling it a triumph for "free speech."

January 2003 - The Hawaii branch of the ACLU filed suit to remove a requirement from a public school honor code that students pledge their "love for God." Without going to court, the school backed down.

February 2003 - A federal district judge prohibited Florida officials from blocking an anti-war demonstration at a public park that featured a peace symbol at a public park, comprised of nude bodies. Said an ACLU attorney, "For these demonstrators, nudity is an essential part of their political expression."