Talking Points for the Dinner Table

Current events are hot discussion topics at many holiday tables. If you want to jump start a conversation about civil liberties, please keep reading for talking points about the ACLU’s most urgent work.

Censorship Talking Points

We have seen efforts in communities across Illinois to ban books or restrict access to inclusive and diverse materials and information in public events, and in public libraries and schools.

  • Banning or limiting speech because others raise objections or government officials disagree is censorship and violates our First Amendment rights.
  • Anyone can decide which speech and ideas they want their own family to access, but they cannot make that decision for other families and other members of our community.
  • Censoring speech or ideas denies members of our community access to new, different ideas from which they could benefit.


Ending Money Bond Talking Points

Illinois became the first state to abolish the unfair practice of jailing people accused of crimes simply because they cannot afford to pay a money bond.

  • Instead of wealth determining if you are jailed pretrial, judges consider whether an accused person should be denied release because they pose a threat or are likely to flee.
  • Spending even a few days in jail can completely destabilize a person’s life - causing them to lose their job, home, or custody of their children.
  • There is no evidence that forcing someone to pay a money bond increases the likelihood that someone appears for their court proceedings.


Sanctuary City for the Unborn Talking Points

Some Illinois cities have considered ordinances declaring the community a “sanctuary city for the unborn” or seeking to enforce local penalties for providing or helping someone access reproductive health care.

  • Illinois law guarantees the right of everyone in the state to make decisions about their reproductive health without interference from the state or local government.
  • Every community in Illinois is bound by state law. Local governments cannot create exemptions for themselves to enforce policies that are counter to the state law. 
  • Adopting or enforcing policies that restrict abortion are in violation of Illinois law and opens up the community to lawsuits, lengthy litigation and could expose the local community to expensive legal fees or penalties.


Pick speaking bubbles with a megaphone, gavel, and abortion sign.