"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." - First Amendment to the United States Constitution

It is no coincidence that freedom of speech is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment. Freedom of inquiry and free expression are the hallmarks of a democratic society and an informed citizenry. But historically, at times of national stress and threats to democracy — real or imagined — First Amendment rights come under enormous pressure. We're seeing that today in increased calls for censorship, unprecedented levels of book banning, and attempted erasure of LGBTQ+ identities and expression.

The ACLU of Delaware stands firmly in defense of free speech and the critical role it plays in empowering our communities. The free exchange of ideas enriches and improves the lives of everyone, especially those most marginalized and disenfranchised by systemic inequality. From developing resources to keep people educated about their First Amendment rights, to extensive legal battles to uphold the constitutional guarantee of those rights —  our work to protect freedom of speech and the invididuals who exercise that freedom is unending.

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*Data from the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Movement Advancement Project