Nonprofit or community organization
Last modified: January 17, 2012, 9:25 PM
The purpose of the American Civil LIberties Union of Maine is to advance and protect the civil liberties and human and civil rights provided under the constitutions and laws of the State of Maine and the United States.
The principles guiding the ACLU of Maine are simple and clear:
The right to free expression - above all, the freedom to dissent from the official view and majority opinion.
The right to the free exercise of religion and the right to be free from government establishment of religion.
The right to equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, marital status or disability.
The right of fair play in encounters with government institutions - courts, schools, police, bureaucracy - and with the repositories of great private power.
The right to be let alone - to be secure from spying, from the promiscuous and unwarranted collection of personal information, and from interference in our private lives.
These guarantees of liberty are not self-enforcing. Those people with power often undermine the rights of individuals and groups who lack the political influence, the numerical strength or the money to secure their birthright of freedom. That is why MCLU efforts - in the courts, in the legislature and in the public forum - have most often been on behalf of people with the special vulnerability of the powerless.
We are all vulnerable. No group of persons is permanently protected. This is why the MCLU accepts as a first principle a truth validated by experience: the rights of each person are secure only if those of the weakest are assured. The MCLU stands on this ground; if it fails to, it and liberty may perish.