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Dennis Kucinich on Civil Rights

Democratic Representative (OH-10); Democratic Candidate for President


Civil marriage is not necessarily between a man & a woman

Q: Isn't marriage inherently a man and a woman, inherently?

KUCINICH: No. There's a question of civil marriage, and there's a question of marriage as performed by the church. We're talking about civil law here.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary debate at USC Feb 26, 2004

Allow gays and lesbians to marry

Q: What is your position on gay rights?

A: I would help to create a culture in America so that people could be whoever they are, because if America is about anything, it has to be about a chance for people to live out their dream and to express their own authenticity. And so, gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender people under my administration would have full participation, and they would also have the right to marry.

Source: CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003

Reparations for slavery should take form of social programs

Q: What is your position on reparations for Africans in America?

A: The Bible tells us we must be "repairers of the breach". The institution of slavery created a breach in our society, which still remains today. That breach is evident in the disparities which exist in educational opportunities, health care, employment opportunities, housing and other critical areas for people of color. The question is not whether or not there should be reparations. There must be. The question is what form will such reparations take? I believe a broad based program of social and economic reforms which consciously works to lift the conditions for people of color will lift up everyone. It is said a rising tide lifts all boats. We must create the advancing tide with health care for all, jobs for all, educational opportunities for all, housing opportunities for all.

Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 4, 2003

Repeal the PATRIOT Act: stop being driven by fear

We have to repeal the PATRIOT Act, which is a basis of fear that was drummed up in this country without any rational basis for protecting this country. We're being driven by fear, and I have to say that it's time for us to challenge that fear.
Source: Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate Sep 9, 2003

Must challenge rationale of USA PATRIOT Act

We must challenge the rationale of the Patriot Act. The American jurisprudence system is the envy of the free world with its emphasis on due process. We cannot justify widespread wiretaps and Internet surveillance without judicial supervision, let alone with it. We cannot justify giving the FBI total access to any type of data that may exist in any system anywhere such as medical records and financial records. We cannot justify a government that takes from the people our right to privacy and then assumes for its own operations a right to total secrecy. We should not let the actions of terrorists cause us to reject our American system of justice. The ultimate terror in a democracy is the destruction of constitutional principles.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003

Same sex couples deserve equal domestic benefits

Same sex couples and opposite sex couples should be equal in the eyes of the law. All benefits and legal entitlements available to heterosexual couples should be available to homosexual couples. Kucinich supports domestic partner benefits to same-sex partners of employees, such as health insurance coverage and hospital visitation rights.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003

Affirmative action is necessary & right & must be preserved

Affirmative action is necessary, affirmative action is right, and affirmative action must be preserved. America's diversity is strength.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, "On The Issues" Aug 1, 2003

Voted against the misnamed "Patriot Act"

Q: Would you revise or repeal the Patriot Act?

A: I am the only presidential candidate to vote against the misnamed "Patriot Act." I am proud of that vote. As President, I will push to revoke it. I will challenge any Patriot II sequel. I argued that the "Patriot Act" and related measures had effectively revoked half of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights. I am now drafting a bill to repeal the "Patriot Act" and restore civil liberties essential to a functioning democracy.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Prayer for America: Why put aside Constitutional justice?

Source: Speech to the So. Cal. ADA, in Prayer for America, p. 12-13 Feb 17, 2002

Focus on jobs instead of pitting people against each other

Q: your position concerning affirmative action programs?

A: I would rather concentrate on creating more decent jobs for everyone, discriminating against no member of our society, rather than get involved with pitting Americans against one another.

Source: 1996 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1996

Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration.

Desecration of Flag resolution: Vote to pass the joint resolution to put forward a Constitutional amendment to state that Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. Note: A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (284 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HJRes.4 ; vote number 2003-234 on Jun 3, 2003

Voted YES on Constitutional amendment prohibiting Flag Desecration.

Proposing a Constitutional amendment to state that Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Bill HJRES 36 ; vote number 2001-232 on Jul 17, 2001

Voted NO on banning gay adoptions in DC.

Vote on an amendment banning adoptions in District of Columbia by gays or other individuals who are not related by blood or marriage.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Largent, R-OK; Bill HR 2587 ; vote number 1999-346 on Jul 29, 1999

Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit burning the US flag.

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Reference: Resolution proposed by Cunningham, R-CA; Bill HJ.Res.33 ; vote number 1999-252 on Jun 24, 1999

Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions.

HR 6, the Higher Education Amendments Act of 1997, would prohibit any post-secondary institution that participates in any program under the Higher Education Act from discriminating or granting any preferential treatment in admission based on race, sex, ethnicity, color or national origin.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Riggs, R-CA.; Bill HR 6 ; vote number 1998-133 on May 6, 1998

Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender.

Kucinich sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:

Title: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women. Summary: States that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR40 on Mar 22, 2001

Rated 64% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record.

Kucinich scores 64% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Dennis Kucinich on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts