Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ACLU?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 and is our
nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and
communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties
guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the
United States. Learn more
What is the ACLU of Indiana?
In 2006, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) became the American Civil
Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU of Indiana), an affiliate of the National ACLU.
The mission of the ACLU of Indiana is to defend individual rights and enhance
and preserve liberties that are grounded in the United States and Indiana
constitutions and civil rights laws.
The ACLU of Indiana is a nonprofit
organization that receives no taxpayer funds. The ACLU of Indiana is
nonpartisan, and does not endorse political candidates.
What kinds of cases does the ACLU of Indiana take?
The issues most common to the Indiana affiliate of the ACLU are: disability rights, freedom of speech,
LGBT rights, immigrant rights, police practices, prisoner rights, racial justice, religion and beliefs, reproductive freedom, the rights of the poor, technology and privacy, voting rights, and youth rights. However, there are
many more issues affecting civil liberties and rights that are fought all across the country.
Read more: "Justice for
All: How the ACLU of Indiana Decides to Take a Case"
when did the ACLU of Indiana have its first meeting?
The ACLU of Indiana (then the ICLU) held its first meeting on Nov. 20,
1953 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Indianapolis after being denied a
meeting place at the Indiana War Memorial by the War Memorial Commission. In
1968, the ICLU filed a complaint in Marion Superior Court against the IWMC,
but in April 1970 the commission’s decision to deny the ICLU a meeting place
was upheld. Then on Feb. 1, 1973, after 20 years of attempting to reverse
the state’s decision through political means, the Indiana Supreme Court
reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled in favor of the ICLU.
Is the ACLU a liberal or conservative organization?
The ACLU of Indiana's membership includes Democrats, Independents,
Libertarians and Republicans. In other words, our members cross the political
spectrum. The ACLU of Indiana is nonpartisan and does not endorse political
What is the ACLU’s position on religion?
The ACLU protects and defends both religious
clauses of the First Amendment: the Establishment Clause, commonly referred to
as "separation of church and state," and the Free Exercise Clause.
See our news release on the 2012 General Assembly's "creationism" bill
Why does the ACLU defend unpopular groups?
The ACLU defends the principles of civil liberty granted to us in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Whether we like the beliefs of a particular group or person is irrelevant to the civil liberties principles involved. When the government infringes on the basic rights of citizens, the ACLU is there.
Ken Falk, Legal Director for the ACLU of Indiana, said: "The beauty and timeless
value of the rights safeguarded by the Constitution is that these rights are not
contingent on popularity or majority approval. The rights stand on their own,
regardless of who is asserting them." If a right can be taken away from one
person, it can be taken away from anyone. When you deny a right to someone with
whom you disagree, you pave the way for that right to be denied to you or
someone you support. Read more in
"Myths About the ACLU"
Membership & Charitable Contributions
Membership dues to the ACLU of Indiana, a 501(c)4 organization, are not tax
deductible. ACLU of Indiana memberships automatically include membership to the
National ACLU. Charitable contributions to the ACLU of Indiana Foundation, a
501(c)3 organization, are tax deductible to the full extent of the law and
support our efforts in education outreach and free legal services.
How do I join the ACLU?
The need has never been greater for freedom-loving people to join
the ACLU. Click here
to learn more
I care about the issues. What can I do?
Stay informed! Sign up for the ACLU of Indiana’s mailing list for important local updates.
Also, follow our news on social media at
and @ACLUIndiana on Twitter. Look
for an upcoming event in your area. And don't forget to