Latest Human rights and civil liberties News

This Feb. 25, 2020 shows Preterm executive director Chrisse France in the procedure room, in Cleveland. Court decisions in two U.S. states Monday, April 6, allowed abortions to continue after the procedure was caught in the crosshairs of governors’ orders suspending non-essential elective surgeries due to the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Judge blocks ban on some Texas abortions during outbreak

Apr. 9, 2020 8:28 PM EDT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge has ordered that Texas abortion clinics may continue to perform abortions in some cases, either those using medication or those involving patients for whom delays would pose an essential ban. The ruling came in a 16-page opinion filed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Lee...

FILE - In this June 16, 2008, file photo, Del Martin, left, places a ring on her partner Phyllis Lyon, right, during their wedding ceremony officiated by then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, center, at City Hall in San Francisco. Pioneering gay rights activist Lyon, who was among the first same-sex couples to marry in California when it became legal to do so, has died at her San Francisco home. Lyon died at age 95 of natural causes Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Civil rights pioneer and face of gay marriage dies at 95

Apr. 9, 2020 8:08 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gay rights pioneer Phyllis Lyon, who with her longtime partner was among the first same-sex couples to marry in California when it became legal to do so in 2008, has died at her San Francisco home. She was 95. Lyon lived life with “joy and wonder,” said Kate Kendell, a...

In this March 16, 2020 photo, people walk outside the Supreme Court in Washington.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

No halt to culture wars during coronavirus outbreak

Apr. 9, 2020 7:41 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A partisan fight over voting in Wisconsin was the first issue linked to the coronavirus to make it to the Supreme Court. Efforts to limit abortion during the pandemic could eventually land in the justices' hands. Disputes over guns and religious freedom also are popping up around the...

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Wilmington, De. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Biden joins growing call for release of racial data on virus

Apr. 9, 2020 6:56 PM EDT

DETROIT (AP) — Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is joining a growing call for the release of comprehensive racial data on the coronavirus pandemic, which he says has put a spotlight on inequity and the impact of “structural racism." Biden's Medium post on Thursday said he is joining...

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks at a news conference to give updates on the COVID-19 outbreak Thursday, April 9, 2020 at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal via AP]

ACLU seeks release of Kansas inmates vulnerable to COVID-19

Apr. 9, 2020 6:38 PM EDT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A civil rights group asked the Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday to immediately release prisoners who have preexisting medical conditions that make them vulnerable to the coronavirus. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed the class action petition on behalf of seven inmates...

An empty sanctuary awaits parishioners on Palm Sunday at Saint Mary's Catholic Church Sunday April 5, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The church is not holding Mass but is opening the sanctuary for prayer. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Judge rejects lawsuit over order; no religious exemption

Apr. 9, 2020 5:36 PM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A judge in southwest Virginia on Thursday ejected a lawsuit that sought to carve ought a religious exemption to Gov. Ralph Northam's executive order requiring people to stay at home. Russell County resident Larry Hughes filed the lawsuit this week. He said the governor's...

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses his statement, during the opening of the High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

UN chief warns COVID-19 is increasing inequality for women

Apr. 9, 2020 5:03 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic is deepening already existing inequalities and “is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls” that could reverse limited progress toward gender equality...

ACLU of Indiana: New panhandling law violates free speech

Apr. 9, 2020 5:02 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A new law tightening Indiana’s restrictions on panhandling violates the First Amendment by all but banning solicitation in cities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana contends in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that seeks to block the law. The law, set to take effect...

Judge: New Hampshire voter registration law unconstitutional

Apr. 9, 2020 4:34 PM EDT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A judge struck down a New Hampshire law that added more steps to the voter registration process as unconstitutional “for unreasonably burdening the right to vote." The New Hampshire Democratic Party and the League of Women Voters sued Secretary of State William Gardner over the...

FILE - In this April 6, 2020 file photo Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference at Liberty Plaza in downtown Atlanta. By requiring Georgia voters to provide their own stamps for mail-in ballots, the state is effectively imposing a poll tax that is an unconstitutional barrier to the right to vote, according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Georgia postpones primaries again because of coronavirus

Apr. 9, 2020 2:27 PM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia on Thursday postponed primary elections for the second time this year because of the coronavirus, pushing back primaries scheduled for May to June. The move came a day after New Jersey and Virginia joined at least 15 other states in delaying their primaries amid the coronavirus...