This year the ACLU of Montana celebrates 40 years as an affiliate of national ACLU, the nation’s leading defender of individual rights and fundamental freedoms. In these uncertain times, our mission — to advance, preserve, and defend civil liberties and civil rights in Montana — is more important than ever.
The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
These rights include:
- Your First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
- Your right to equal protection under the law - protection against unlawful discrimination.
- Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
- Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people and prisoners.
If the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. Support the ACLU today.
In conjunction with ACLU efforts nationwide, we in the ACLU/MT labor on three fronts: We advocate at the local, state and federal levels. We develop educational programs. When those efforts fail, we litigate.
Since 1989, we have had a full-time lobby presence in Helena, and have established a reputation for providing reliable testimony to the Montana State Legislature. We have worked hard to build coalitions to defend reproductive rights, privacy, and human dignity, oppose the death penalty and advocate for LGBT rights. At times we are the lone opponents to bad legislation, working to prevent it from becoming law. Dues from our more than 2,000 card-carrying Montana members finance our lobbying efforts. JOIN TODAY
Our public education efforts are aimed at helping the public understand their rights and responsibilities and better appreciate the rule of law and separation of powers. Our public education programs include:
"Your Constitutional Rights" features fifty 60-second radio spots that focus on landmark Supreme Court decisions.
Speakers Bureau: Staff and board members are ready to speak about civil liberties in classrooms and to civic organizations, and we participate in conferences across the state.
Web site: Our regularly updated web site provides a resource for information on issues of law and justice, as well as an update on our activities in the courts, in the legislature and in the media.
In 1997, we hired our first full-time staff attorney. Today we have a legal office in Missoula that houses two attorneys and an paralegal/intake coordinator. Together, with the assistance of cooperating attorneys throughout the state and in conjunction with national ACLU projects, they litigate to seek justice when other measures fail. In 2009, we created the Montana Prison Project to litigate on behalf of inmates in Montana's prisons and jails. We have brought suit to protect freedom of expression, the right to privacy, religious freedom, and the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and ensure equality under the law, the continued separation between church and state, and due process of the law. We file lawsuits to help those who face discrimination and intolerance, including LGBT people, prisoners and women.
YOU CAN HELP DEFEND LIBERTY!
We face strong opposition on a number of fronts, but we are prepared to protect civil liberties and to respond to threats to our civil rights whenever they occur. We have accomplished what we have through the support of people like you.
An annual gift to the ACLU of Montana will enable us to continue our present work protecting civil rights and liberties. We invite your enduring partnership to keep freedom’s flame alive.