The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is a nonpartisan, non-profit membership organization that defends, promotes and preserves individual rights and liberties under the U.S. and Connecticut constitutions in state and federal court, the General Assembly and the state’s 169 towns and cities. We carry out this work from our office in Hartford with our staff, assisted by interns, volunteers, cooperating attorneys, our board of directors, our regional chapters and college and law school chapters. We are one of 54 affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union nationwide.

The rights we defend include:
  • Your freedom of speech. We safeguard the right to peaceful protest, to ensure the government doesn't rig the system to allow only the voices that it agrees with to be heard.
  • Your freedom of religion. We advocate for the First Amendment right to practice religion — or not to practice it — without government interference or coercion.
  • Your right to equal protection. We fight against profiling and unlawful discrimination, including unfair treatment of racial minorities, women, LGBT people, prisoners and people with disabilities.
  • Your right to due process. We intercede when the government subjects people to unreasonable search and seizure or denies them due process of the law.
  • Your right to privacy. We stand up against government intrusion into your personal and private affairs, including unwarranted surveillance, monitoring and tracking.
  • Your voting rights. We fight voter suppression and support legislation to keep the polls accessible to all citizens.
  • Your reproductive rights. We advocate for a world in which every person--whatever their immigration status, income, or zip code--is able to make their own decisions about pregnancy and parenting.
Some of our major recent achievements include:
  • 2016: Defending free speech by successfully representing the Libertarian Party of Connecticut in a case to overturn the state’s ban on political parties’ use of out-of-state “circulators,” individuals who gather signatures in order to place candidates on election ballots.
  • 2015: Modernizing Connecticut law to allow transgender people to change their birth certificates to reflect their appropriate gender.
  • 2013: Scoring a key legal victory under Title IX, a federal law regarding equal educational opportunities for women. In 2013, the ACLU-CT secured a court settlement that requires Quinnipiac University to provide equal opportunities for women in its athletic programs.
  • 2012: Securing legislative repeal of Connecticut’s death penalty.
  • 2012: Protecting religious freedom by winning a legal settlement prohibiting the Enfield public schools from holding graduations in a church.
  • 2012: Passing legislation to strengthen enforcement of the law prohibiting racial profiling by police. The ACLU-CT also helped to pass the original racial profiling ban.
  • 2008: Advancing equality by representing eight couples in the successful court case to legalize same-sex marriage in Connecticut. Due to the ACLU-CT’s case, in which we partnered with GLAAD in representing the plaintiffs, Connecticut became the second state to legalize marriage equality.
  • 2008: Affirming a Canterbury public school teacher’s free speech rights by winning a legal settlement after she was banned from speaking out at town government meetings.
  • 2005: Pushing back against government abuses under the Patriot Act by obtaining a court order to lift a gag order on local librarians whom the government had ordered to turn over patrons’ library records.
Since 1948, the ACLU-CT has exercised its legal expertise to protect freedom, justice, and equality. Some of our early cases overturned Connecticut’s ban on the use of state funds to provide low-income women with equal access to abortion care, cleared the way for the first woman firefighter in New Haven, secured religious observance rights for prisoners, and sought racial equality in education. More recently, we have fought illegal search and seizure of protesters and motorists, defended free speech and freedom of the press, stood up for women’s equal access to education, demanded government transparency, and more. We work in the courts, at the capitol, and in communities, and we are here to stand up for civil rights and liberties.
To give us as many tools as possible to accomplish our work, we are both a 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organization