FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Date:  October 4, 2000

Contact: Cheryl D. Peck

"Civil Liberties and the Religious Right" subject of presentation

            SPRINGFIELD - Pamela L. Sumners, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois Director of Gay and Lesbian Rights/AIDS and Civil Liberties Projects, will speak on "Civil Liberties and the Religious Right" at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 12, in the Homer L. Butler Commons building at the University of Illinois at Springfield.   Her presentation is free and open to the public.

            The Gay and Lesbian Rights/AIDS and Civil Liberties Projects support extensive education, and legislative and litigation efforts to protect and extend the rights of lesbians, gay men, transgender individuals, and persons affected by HIV and AIDS.  Sumners works closely with other ACLU staff, volunteers, and community advocates to advance those goals.

Sumners joined the ACLU of Illinois after being in private law practice in Birmingham, Alabama. Her practice is devoted primarily to constitutional and employment litigation. She gained national prominence for litigating a challenge to a state court judge posting the Ten Commandments in his courtroom. In addition, Sumners raised a challenge to Alabama's statute allowing prayer in public school and sued to protect the religious rights of the four lone Jewish students in a rural school system.

She graduated from Stephens College and earned an M.A. in political science from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.  She also graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review.

Sumners' appearance at UIS is co-sponsored by the UIS Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Caucus; Springfield Chapter of the ACLU; Brother to Brother; Faith Eternal Metropolitan Community Church; and the Prairie Flame.

            For more information about this event, please contact Allan Cook at 206-7007.