State of Iowa Archives: on Civil Rights


Joni Ernst: Endorsed by RightNOW Women PAC to escape "war on women"

State Sen. Joni Ernst received the endorsement of RightNOW Women PAC on Tuesday. RightNOW was created by a former aide to George W. Bush, and was launched earlier this year to recruit young women to get involved in the Republican Party.

Republicans of all stripes have been working to attract more women to their ranks and escape the "war on women" narrative that Democrats successfully used against them in 2012.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 Iowa Senate race Mar 11, 2014

Sam Clovis: Family begins with one man and one woman

One of the four pillars of American strength is the traditional, nuclear family. That family begins with one man and one woman brought together in holy matrimony and from this union should come the children that fill out the family unit. This model works and clearly provides the strongest economic, social and psychological base for this most important building block of society.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, Iowans4SamClovis.com, "Issues" Nov 11, 2013

Matthew Whitaker: My faith requires me to support traditional marriage

Ernst reiterated that she was for traditional marriage between one man and one woman. She reminded the audience that she was a co-sponsor for the Marriage amendment in the Iowa Senate.

Whitaker also said he was for traditional marriage. He took a shot at Schaben saying that he disagreed with him, and that his faith does not allow him to hold that position. "If we start saying there are more important things than life and marriage we might as well elect a Democrat," Whitaker stated.

Source: CaffeinatedThoughts blog on 2014 Iowa Senate primary debate Oct 24, 2013

Joni Ernst: Marriage is a religious institution: one man and one woman

Protecting Traditional Marriage: As a Christian, Joni strongly believes marriage is a religious institution, defined as a union between one man and one woman. She has already shown herself to be a defender of traditional marriage on the floor of the Iowa Senate.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, JoniForIowa.com, "Issues" Sep 9, 2013

Jon Huntsman: I believe in traditional marriage but also civil unions

Q: Your GOP opponents support traditional marriage. You support civil unions?

A: I believe in traditional marriage first and foremost. I've been married 28 years, with 7 terrific kids. But I also believe in civil unions. Because I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to equality. And I think this nation can do a better job when it comes to reciprocal beneficiary rights. And I believe that this is something that ought to be discussed among the various states. I don't have any problem with states having this discussion. But as for me, I support civil unions.

Q: So why are your GOP opponents wrong?

A: They are not wrong. All I'm saying is this ought to be an issue that takes place at the local level of government, that's where these decisions ought to be made. I believe in traditional marriage. But I also believe that subordinate to that we haven't done an adequate job when it comes to equality. That is just my personal belief. Everyone is entitled to their personal belief too.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Michele Bachmann: I support federal AND state marriage amendments

SANTORUM: [to Bachmann]: We can't have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, and then go to the Supreme Court and say "equal protection," then you will have at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country. You have to fight in each state. And there's where I disagree with Rick Perry, I disagree with Michele Bachmann. I will come to the states and fight to make sure this strategy of picking off a state here and there does not be successful in transforming marriage.

BACHMANN: I support the federal marriage amendment, because I believe that we will see this issue at the Supreme Court someday. And as president, I will not nominate activist judges who legislate from the bench. I also want to say, when I was in Minnesota, I was the chief author of the constitutional amendment to define marriage as one man, one woman. I have an absolutely unblemished record when it comes to this issue of man-woman marriage.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Mitt Romney: Federal definition of marriage as one-man-one-woman

Q: When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2003, you accused MA justices of assuming for themselves the powers that should belong to the state legislature. What about the New York state legislature legalizing gay marriage?

A: I'd far prefer having the representatives of the people make that decision than justices. But I believe the issue of marriage should be decided at the federal level. People move from state to state; they have children. If one state recognizes a marriage and the other does not, what's the right of that child? What kind of divorce proceeding would there be in a state that didn't recognize a marriage in the first place? Marriage is not an activity that goes on within the walls of a state. Marriage's status should be constant across the country. I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Newt Gingrich: Loyalty test for everyone, not just for Muslims

Q: You've said you would impose a loyalty test for Muslims to serve in your administration. You said, "We did this in dealing with the Nazis, and we did this in dealing with the communists." What specific loyalty test would you require them to take?

GINGRICH: Actually, I didn't describe it as applied to Muslims. I described it as applied to everybody. There is nothing illegitimate about seeking to make sure that people are loyal to the US if they work for the government of the US. I was responding to this insane moment [in a trial of] the guy who built the car bomb from Pakistan, was asked by the judge, who said to him, "But you swore an oath of loyalty to the US." And he said to the judge, "I am your enemy. I lied." The judge seemed mystified at the idea that somebody would have lied. And my point is, we now know there really were communist spies. And I would suggest to you we need security provisions across the board to ensure that those Americans and the American government are loyal to the US.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Rick Santorum: No polygamy; no gay marriage

Q: [to Paul]: If a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay, like gay marriage?

PAUL: No state is going to do that. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you.

SANTORUM: It sounds to me like Rep. Paul would actually say polygamous marriages are OK. If the state has the right to do it, they have the right to do it. It is not beyond reality; it is exactly what's being offered in other states right now. And it's being litigated in our courts right now, which is exactly how gay marriage came about as we see here in Iowa where seven justices forced gay marriages on the people of Iowa. We can't have 50 marriage laws. This was the approach that the left took on abortion, which is to pick a few states, pick a few courts and then go to the Supreme Court and say "equal protection," you can't have different state laws then you will have nine people up at the Supreme Court deciding what marriage is in this country.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Ron Paul: No federal marriage licenses & no state licenses either

Q: You've often said you believe defining marriage is a job that should be left to the states. Recently Sen. Santorum asked if a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay too?

PAUL: That is sort of like asking the question if the states wante to legalize slavery or something like that. No state is going to do that. I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman. And the federal government shouldn't be involved. I want less government involvement. I don't want the federal government having a marriage police. I want the states to deal with it. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Why don't we just go to the church? What other individuals do, why can't we permit them to do whatever they call it that is their problem not mine? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you. That is what we have to prevent. So I would say less government would be better if you have to have regulations let the state governments do it.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Chuck Grassley: Wait for DoD report before considering Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Conlin promises she'd vote to repeal two federal policies that she argues infringe upon the rights of gay Americans. "[Grassley] wants members of the LGBT community to be second-class citizens," Conlin said. Conlin vowed: "If you send me to Washington, I will fight to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'; I will fight to repeal DOMA and I will fight to end discrimination in employment." DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, says no state is required to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state.

As for th military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Grassley argues Congress should wait for a Defense Department study before voting to end it. "I think that congress ought to have that information before we vote," Grassley said. "And so I'm going to wait until that study comes out at the end of the year because I don't want to do anything with a program that has worked good for 18 years and has allowed the military to carry out its mission to make it more difficult for a combat organization to do its mission."

Source: Radio Iowa coverage of 2010 Iowa Senate Debate Oct 19, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: No 2nd-class citizens: repeal DOMA and Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell

Conlin promises she'd vote to repeal two federal policies that she argues infringe upon the rights of gay Americans. "[Grassley] wants members of the LGBT community to be second-class citizens," Conlin said.

Conlin got sustained applause from the crow at the Iowa Democratic Party's weekend fundraiser when she made these vows: "If you sent me to Washington, I will fight to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'; I will fight to repeal DOMA and I will fight to end discrimination in employment."

As for the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Grassley argues Congress should wait for a Defense Department study before voting to end it. "I think that congress ought to have that information before we vote," Grassley said. "And so I'm going to wait until that study comes out at the end of the year because I don't want to do anything with a program that has worked good for 18 years and has allowed the military to carry out its mission to make it more difficult for a combat organization to do its mission."

Source: Radio Iowa coverage of 2010 Iowa Senate Debate Oct 19, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: 1970s: Discrimination on basis of pregnancy made illegal

Throughout my professional life, in every way possible, I have tried to assure that women and girls are treated equally and fairly. I drafted the first law in the nation that protected the privacy of rape victims. In the 1970s, teachers and other women workers lost their jobs simply because they were pregnant. I took a case to the Iowa Supreme Court; [they found] that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy was illegal and to ensure that women could no longer get fired because they were pregnant.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: Pass Paycheck Fairness Act to close gender pay gap

In January 2009, the House approved the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that would help close the yawning pay gap between men and women which still exists by, among other things, making stronger remedies available under the existing Equal Pay Act, protecting employees from retaliation, and ensuring that courts require employers to show that wage disparities are job-related, not sex-based, & consistent with business needs. It is time for the Senate to stop dawdling & approve this much needed law.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Roxanne Conlin: Supports marriage equality for same-sex couples

I will continue to work for equal rights for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation or condition of disability as I have done in both the public and private practice of law for four decades.

I am proud of Iowa's historic leadership on equal rights for all of our citizens. I proudly signed an amicus brief in support of marriage equality in Iowa's landmark Varnum v. Brien case.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, www.RoxanneForIowa, "Issues" Jul 20, 2010

Christopher Reed: Define marriage as one man and one woman only

Q: What are your views on gay marriage?

A: Marriage is between one man and one woman only. It is a license by the state to recognize the unity of a family.

Q: And should the Constitution of the state of Iowa say that?

A: Yes.

Q: How would you go about making that happen?

A: In the state of Iowa I wouldnít because that would be a state issue and Iím a federal campaign candidate.

Source: Dean Borg, Iowa Public TV. on 2008 Iowa Senate debate Jun 6, 2008

Christopher Reed: Donít-ask-donít-tell caused disruption in military

Reed criticized Sen. Harkin on the issue of gays in the military, after a hearing in which Harkin defended the rights of gays and lesbians whoíre serving in the nationís armed forces.

Christopher Reed served in the Navy both before and after the ďdonít ask, donít tellĒ policy took effect. ďIt has caused more disruption by bringing it up than there was beforehand. There are no open homosexuals in the military,Ē Reed says. ďI think it creates a distraction that is unnecessary to the fighting forc

Source: Radio Iowa coverage of 2008 Iowa Senate debate May 23, 2008

Mitt Romney: No longer calls Giuliani pro-choice & pro-gay & anti-gun

Q: [to Romney]: You have been drawing contrasts with Mayor Giuliani during this campaign, such as this interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network this spring:
(BEGIN VIDEO)
ROMNEY: He is pro-choice & pro-gay marriage & anti-gun, and thatís a tough combination in a Republican primary.
(END VIDEO)
Q: Do you stand by that?

ROMNEY: That was very early in the process, in March. He wasnít a candidate yet. I think I have a better perspective on his views now. Iíd rather let him speak for his own positions. I can tell you that I am pro-life and that Iím opposed to same-sex marriage, and I support the Second Amendment.

GIULIANI: The reality is that I support the Second Amendment. I clearly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although I did support domestic partnerships and still do. And [we should] put our emphasis on reducing abortions & increasing the number of adoptions

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Supports domestic partnerships, but not same-sex marriage

Q: [to Romney]: You have been drawing contrasts with Mayor Giuliani during this campaign, such as this interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network this spring:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: He is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage and anti-gun, and thatís a tough combination in a Republican primary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Q: Do you stand by that?

ROMNEY: That was very early in the process, in March. He wasnít a candidate yet. I think I have a better perspective on his views now.

GIULIANI: The reality is that I support the Second Amendment. I clearly believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, although I did support domestic partnerships and still do, a contractual relationship. And [we should] put our emphasis on reducing abortions & increasing the number of adoptions

Source: 2007 GOP Iowa Straw Poll debate Aug 5, 2007

Al Sharpton: No people of color in Deanís cabinet-should import talent

Q: How you can explain not one black or brown working for your administration as governor?

DEAN: We do have African-American & Latino workers in state government.

SHARPTON: I said under your administration. Do you have a senior member of your cabinet that was black or brown?

DEAN: We had a senior member of my staff on my 5th floor.

SHARPTON: No, your cabinet.

DEAN: No, we did not. [But the cabinet has only] six members.

SHARPTON: Then you need to let me talk to you about race in this country.

DEAN: If the percentage of African-Americans in your state was any indication of what your views on race were, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King.

SHARPTON: But I donít think that that answers the question. If you want to lecture people on race, you ought to have the background and track record in order to do that. Governors import talent. Governors reach all over the country to make sure they have diversity.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Al Sharpton: Just talking about race is trivializing the issue

Q: Is the Confederate flag an acceptable symbol of anything to an American?

DEAN: The Confederate flag is a painful symbol to African-Americans in this country because of what it represented. When we campaign, weíve got to talk. They say race in the South or anyplace else in America, weíve got to say jobs, because everybody needs a job, doesnít matter what color they are or where they come from. We need to talk about the things that everybody needs: jobs, education & health care.

SHARPTON: Blacks in South Carolina are double unemployed to whites. We canít use a class formula to go around that issue. Secondly, just having conversations with whites without real legislation, without real executive action is to trivialize our problems. We donít need people talking to whites. We need people to do something about racism and about discrimination. Donít reduce this to a coffee shop conversation. We need action. And a president leads, like Lyndon Johnson did. They donít just have a conversation.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Al Sharpton: Get young people involved in the election process

Q: What would you do to address the low African American voter turnout?

A: Iíve spent a lot of time trying to address the issue of youth voter registration. Weíve spent time on campuses in this campaign of all races trying to register young people. I think if we bring young people out, it not only is good for them, itís good for the country. You canít just lay down and accept being marginalized. Even if youíre knocked down, thatís somebody elseís fault, you have to get up, thatís your obligation.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Carol Moseley-Braun: Have to have an honest conversation about race-Dean is right

Q: Is the Confederate flag an acceptable symbol of anything to an American?

A: We have to have an honest conversation about race in this country. I think Howardís right on that point. We have to have an honest conversation, because without that conversation we will never get to the point where we can pass the laws, where we can have the orders, where we can do the work thatís necessary to bring us together as one American family.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Carol Moseley-Braun: Need to reform immigration policy to welcome them

Q: Would you allow driverís license for immigrants?

A: I would work closely with other governments, particularly with Mexico, to work out treaty arrangements, to work out protocols, to work out the kind of arrangements that would give some semblance of order to this process. So that when people come back & forth across the border, theyíre not dying in the deserts, theyíre not driving cars without insurance, without licenses. We need to give people a sense of being welcome in this land of immigrants.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Howard Dean: No people of color in Deanís cabinet-because so few in VT

Q: How you can explain not one black or brown working for your administration as governor?

DEAN: We do have African-American & Latino workers in state government.

SHARPTON: I said under your administration. Do you have a senior member of your cabinet that was black or brown?

DEAN: We had a senior member of my staff on my 5th floor.

SHARPTON: No, your cabinet.

DEAN: No, we did not. [But the cabinet has only] six members.

SHARPTON: Then you need to let me talk to you about race in this country.

DEAN: If the percentage of African-Americans in your state was any indication of what your views on race were, then Trent Lott would be Martin Luther King.

SHARPTON: But I donít think that that answers the question. If you want to lecture people on race, you ought to have the background and track record in order to do that. Governors import talent. Governors reach all over the country to make sure they have diversity

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Howard Dean: Confederate flag is a painful symbol to Blacks

Q: Is the Confederate flag an acceptable symbol of anything to an American?

DEAN: The Confederate flag is a painful symbol to African-Americans in this country because of what it represented. When we campaign, weíve got to talk. They say race in the South or anyplace else in America, weíve got to say jobs, because everybody needs a job, doesnít matter what color they are or where they come from. We need to talk about the things that everybody needs: jobs, education & health care.

SHARPTON: Blacks in South Carolina are double unemployed to whites. We canít use a class formula to go around that issue. Secondly, just having conversations with whites without real legislation, without real executive action is to trivialize our problems. We donít need people talking to whites. We need people to do something about racism and about discrimination. Donít reduce this to a coffee shop conversation. We need action. And a president leads, like Lyndon Johnson did. They donít just have a conversation.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Howard Dean: Understand the plight of minorities

Q: What is the biggest challenge thatís facing Americaís minority communities right now? : The biggest challenge is to help white audiences understand the plight of minority populations when it comes to race. We have to talk to the folks in this country who do the hiring because there are unconscious biases. Political leaders need to talk not just in terms of civil rights but in terms of overcoming the unconscious bias that every since American has toward hiring people that are like themselves.
Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

John Edwards: Economic and educational equality are needed

Q: Is the Confederate flag an acceptable symbol of anything to an American?

A: The things I have seen growing up -- segregation, discrimination -- are a part of everything I am today. We still live in two Americas, and we should be willing to tell the American people that. We have two economies. We have two tax systems. Until we have economic and educational equality in America, weíre never going to be able to do things we need to do for African-Americans.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

John Edwards: Fund the Help America Vote Act

Q: What will you do to assure elections officials that the federal government is committed to making the Help America Vote Act work as Congress intended?

A: What Iíll do as president is, first of all, fund the legislation, and second, make sure that every single person in America gets a chance to be on a voter registration roll and that they get a chance to vote no matter what the level of the community that they live in. We need to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to both register and vote.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Joseph Lieberman: Allow driverís license for immigrants

Q: Would you allow driverís license for immigrants?

A: Yes, I absolutely would. And I would because it is obviously better for those immigrants and for the rest of America that they be driving with a license instead of without a license. And if they have a license, they are more likely to be driving with insurance. So it makes no sense to me to punitively deprive them of that opportunity.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Joseph Lieberman: Support reparation legislations

Q: Would you propose or back legislation in support of reparations?

A: When Congressman Conyers introduced that legislation, I thought it was a good idea and I would support it. We ought to bring that out again and talk about it, and then talk about what we can do about it. This is going to be more future-oriented in terms of response, to turn around some of the abandonment of people thatís gone on under this Bush administration -- fully fund education, raise people up in that way.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Jack Hatch: Supports civil unions and same-sex marriage

Q: Should Iowa recognize civil unions between same-sex couples??

A: Yes.

Q: Should Iowa restrict marriage to a union only between a man and a woman??

A: No.

Source: 2002 Iowa Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Jack Hatch: Affirmative action in state college & state contracts

Q: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on college and university admissions?

A: Yes.

Q: Public employment?

A: Yes.

Q: State contracting?

A: Yes.

Source: 2002 Iowa Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

Al Gore: Confederate flag divides-remove it, but no boycott

Q: Do you support the NAACPís boycott of of South Carolina until the Confederate flag is removed from their Statehouse? A: The Confederate battle flag divides America. It stands as a hurtful symbol to millions because it recalls the pain of slavery. It should be removed from the SC State Capitol building & from any government institution so as to make them welcoming to all. I do not think a president should ever boycott an individual state [but] we need to bring the Confederate flag down.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Ban racial profiling by Executive Order

Q: In Oneonta, NY, an elderly white woman was attacked in her home. She only saw one of his hands. The police went and questioned every single African-American man in town, old, young, middle aged, bald. Comments? A: On the first day of a Gore presidency, I would issue an executive order to ban racial profiling. And the first civil rights bill introduced from the White House of the year 2001 would be a bill outlawing racial profiling. Thereís a lot of pain out there in this country on the part of Latinos and Asian-Americans who feel as if they have been singled out unfairly and sometimes in a very harsh way because of the way they look. That is unacceptable. We need more community police officers, more contacts between officers walking the beat and the leaders in each community. And we need more diverse police departments with African-Americans and Latinos and others represented fully on the police force so the police force understands the community well.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Latinos considered for Supreme Court, but no pledge

Q: Will you take a pledge that you will appoint a Hispanic to the Supreme Court? A: Iím going to avoid listing names of people to appoint, because Iím not going to get ahead of myself. Iím fighting to get the Democratic nomination. [However], If I am entrusted with the presidency, I will make appointments and nominations that fully reflect the diversity of our country to the Supreme Court as well as to the Cabinet, and that includes Latinos, yes.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Review disenfranchisement of felons but keep concept

Q: The 14th Amendment allows the states to disenfranchise convicted felons. As a result, 1.4 million African-American males are unable to vote. Comments? A: The principle that convicted felons do not have a right to vote is an old one. The definition of what kind of crimes automatically fall in the category that triggers that exclusion from the franchise could well benefit from a fresh review. [But I support] the established principle heinous crimes should result in a disenfranchisement.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Civil rights and affirmative action on top of agenda

Q: How important would Civil Rights laws be in your administration? A: I believe that we need vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws.. Bring our people together with affirmative action, civil rights enforcement and with leadership to put civil rights right at the top of our national agenda.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: More minorities in government to reflect America

Q: Will you appoint minorities to high offices? A: We have been one of the most successful administrations in history, bringing about the strongest economy in history, not in spite of diversity, but because of diversity. I will seek to break that record not only because itís fair & right to have a government that looks like America, but because it is the best way to have a government that works well for America, that understands the challenges and sees the opportunities in every single community.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Expand laws for gays but donít re-open Civil Rights Act

Q: How will Senator Bradleyís proposal to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gay and lesbian Americans impact the civil rights of racial, religious and other minorities?

GORE: The leaders of civil rights groups & most gay and lesbian rights groups believe that it is not wise to open up the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the Republican congress to a process that could lead to it being seriously damaged and even lost. Virtually all of them have followed the leadership of Congressman Barney Frank in supporting the employment nondiscrimination act as a way to get right to the heart of the problem.

BRADLEY: When there is discrimination, you address it with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. would I send such a piece of legislation to the congress if Iíd thought the 1964 Civil Rights Act was going to be opened up? Absolutely not.

Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Al Gore: Ideas & ideals bind different races together

We are bound together, not by any common ethnicity or race or language or national origin. We are bound together by a set of ideas and ideals. Even our founders underestimated the spiritual power of the words they gave us. Otherwise they would have freed their slaves and given women the right to vote as well as African-Americans and Latinos. But in our generation we have been privileged to stand on their shoulders and expand the circle of human dignity.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Include gays in Civil Rights Act

Q: How will Senator Bradleyís proposal to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gay and lesbian Americans impact the civil rights of racial, religious and other minorities?

GORE: The leaders of civil rights groups & most gay and lesbian rights groups believe that it is not wise to open up the 1964 Civil Rights Bill in the Republican congress to a process that could lead to it being seriously damaged and even lost. Virtually all of them have followed the leadership of Congressman Barney Frank in supporting the employment nondiscrimination act as a way to get right to the heart of the problem.

BRADLEY: When there is discrimination, you address it with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. would I send such a piece of legislation to the congress if Iíd thought the 1964 Civil Rights Act was going to be opened up? Absolutely not.

Source: (X-ref from Gore) Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Pull down Confederate flag immediately

Q: Do you support the NAACPís boycott of of South Carolina until the Confederate flag is removed from their Statehouse? A: Iíd pull it down today. I think it should be withdrawn absolutely. I think itís an offense to our common humanity and it is not the future of this country. If weíre going to make progress on race in America, we have to change the conditions of discrimination and poverty and we have to change our hearts so that we can bring everybody along as our brother or sister.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Affirmative action battles subtle racism

Q: Where do you rank affirmative action when it comes to any one you might have the chance to nominate to sit on the Supreme Court? A: I could never appoint anybody to the Supreme Court that I thought might turn the clock back on civil rights. I think of affirmative action & how overblown the criticism is. Itís the best of what America is. I think that weíve made progress. But I think now things are a little more subtle. Itís not the school door being shut. Itís not the overt prohibition of going into a hotel. What it is now is you canít go to a bank and get a loan. [Itís] the digital divide; [and itís] doctors who wonít accept Medicaid payments. Thereís a long way to go and until we get to that day we still need affirmative action.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: End racial profiling by Executive Order

Q: In Oneonta, NY, an elderly white woman was attacked in her home. She only saw one of his hands. The police went and questioned every single African-American man in town, old, young, middle aged, bald. Comments? A: I do not agree with it. We all know what driving while black is. This is breathing while black.... Racial profiling is particularly pernicious because weíre talking about people who pay their taxes, work hard, abide by the rules and they are plucked out because of our inability to see beneath skin color or eye shape or ethnicity in this country and stopped on a regular basis. If I were president, I would put an executive order in immediately that would end racial profiling in the federal government. I would work to get local police departments to keep data to be able to demonstrate that there was racial profiling. And then Iíd sic the Justice Department after them to make sure they were going to abide by the law in which no racial profiling.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Latinos should be on Supreme Court, but no commitment

Q: Will you take a pledge that you will appoint a Hispanic to the Supreme Court? A: One of the most exciting things taking place is the tremendous burgeoning, enthusiasm and optimism and confidence in Latino America, because they see that their futures can be realized through the political system of this country. That means that they should be appointed at the highest levels of our government and that includes the Supreme Court. No commitment today, but commitment that there are many who could.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Rescind disenfranchisement if released felons keep straight

Q: The 14th Amendment allows the states to disenfranchise convicted felons. As a result, 1.4 million African-American males are unable to vote. Comments? A: Thereís not question thereís unequal justice & that a generation of young African-American males are ending up in prison, in large part for nonviolent, first-time drug offenses. If someone is in on a nonviolent offense is able to go straight for 2 or 3 years, that person ought to be able to wipe his record clean and start the day anew.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Diversity creates the best Administration

Q: Will you appoint minorities to high offices? A: Absolutely. [My] administration will reflect the diversity of the country for one common-sense reason, because that would be the best administration. I have always had advisers at the highest level who were African-American, who were Latino, who were Asian-Americans. I did that because I thought that made me a better leader. And besides, there are a lot of people out there with a great talent that need to be given that chance to serve their country.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Bill Bradley: Iíve seen racism, and it must end

I made my living for 10 years paying professional basketball, traveling with a predominantly African-American group around the country. one of the things I learned is how much I will never know about what it is to be African-American in this country. But I saw some things that offended me. And I want people to know that I see things but you feel them. And discrimination is still there, racism is still there. And because I know and I see, I might not know as well as you, but I do know it has to end.
Source: Democrat Debate in Des Moines, Iowa Jan 17, 2000

Alan Keyes: Conducting govít in Spanish assaults our linguistic unity

KEYES [to Bush]: [A Texas town] passed an ordinance saying that all business is to be conducted in the Spanish language. A lot of us look at that sort of thing as an assault on our linguistic unity that is dangerous to the future union of this country. What action do you plan to take to show the people that you stand for one nation, one language rather than a nation linguistically divided?

BUSH: No es la verdad.

KEYES: Es la verdad, se§or.

BUSH: One, I expressed concern about it-I donít want this townís business being conducted in Spanish, it ought to be conducted in English. Secondly, Iíve talked to [Texasí] attorney general to make sure that this town was conforming to all the laws of Texas.
Iím for whatís called English Plus. English is the great language that provides freedom and opportunity. Plus we respect other peopleís heritage in this country.

Source: (x-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Alan Keyes: Ten Commandments & prayer should be in schools

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage? A: The Ten Commandments are etched into the walls of the Supreme Court. I find it rather hard to believe it could be inappropriate to put them on the walls of our schools. The problem we have [is] a phony doctrine pretending that the federal government, through the courts, has the right to dictate uniformity of religion or irreligion. Itís not true. Through the 14th Amendment some of these lawyers try to pretend that the judges can do what the amendment explicitly forbids the Congress from doing, dictating religious practices at the state and local level. This whole approach is wrong. All of this should be left up to the choice of parents in their schools. Itís part of the reason school choice is so important. So we not only have people in schools who pray, but schools in the hands of people who pray by their own choice. Thatís the way we should go.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

George W. Bush: Respect Spanish heritage, but conduct government in English

KEYES [to Bush]: [A Texas town] passed an ordinance saying that all business is to be conducted in the Spanish language. A lot of us look at that sort of thing as an assault on our linguistic unity that is dangerous to the future union of this country. What action do you plan to take to show the people that you stand for one nation, one language rather than a nation linguistically divided?

BUSH: No es la verdad.

KEYES: Es la verdad, se§or.

BUSH: One, I expressed concern about it-I donít want this townís business being conducted in Spanish, it ought to be conducted in English. Secondly, Iíve talked to [Texasí] attorney general to make sure that this town was conforming to all the laws of Texas.
Iím for whatís called English Plus. English is the great language that provides freedom and opportunity. Plus we respect other peopleís heritage in this country.

Source: (x-ref from Keyes) GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

George W. Bush: Ten Commandments OK in schools for ďinherent valuesĒ

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage?
A: ďThou shalt not killĒ is pretty universal. Districts ought to be allowed to post the Ten Commandments, no matter what a personís religion is. Thereís some inherent values in those great commandments that would make our society a better place for everybody. I also believe our schools ought to expand character education.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

John McCain: Ten Commandments would bring virtue to our schools

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage?
A: We begin our proceedings every day in the US Senate with a prayer. Now, it doesnít have the beneficial effect that some desire, but it seems to be acceptable for the Senate to do that. Virtues [like telling the truth are] exemplified in the Ten Commandments. They could be and should be taught in every school in America.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Orrin Hatch: Founders avoided ďnational church,Ē not Ten Commandments

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage? A: Almost anybody would say the Ten Commandments applies universally. You donít have to be a Christian to have it apply. It applies to Jewish people. The Muslims treat Moses as a great prophet. We should not be so doggone sensitive. The founding fathers were concerned that they would develop a national church, not that we might have the best principles on earth.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Orrin Hatch: Amendments for school prayer & flag protection

Iíd have a silent prayer reflection constitutional amendment that would give kids a moment of silent prayer reflection at the beginning of every school day so they can at least think there might be somebody higher than they are. Iíd pass a flag amendment that would protect our flag from people urinating on it, defecating on it, tearing it and burning it with contempt. Iíd do a lot of things to get rid of the partial-birth abortion procedure in our country that has no justification at all. Itís barbaric.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Steve Forbes: Ten Commandments & prayer in schools

Q: How do you post the Ten Commandments in schools without telling children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage that their form of religious expression is invalid? A: Thereís nothing wrong with posting the Ten Commandments in our schools today, because they are the basis of Western civilization. Also, when you look to whatís happened in the last 40 years to the quality of life in this country, when prayer was barred from school, I think itís fitting and proper that we have voluntary prayer.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Al Gore: Women deserve equal pay for equal work

Q: What is your opinion of the fact that women earn less than men for the same work? A: I support an equal dayís pay for an equal dayís work. I support vigorous enforcement of our laws against discrimination, including affirmative action, which all the Republicans are attacking today.
Source: Democrat Debate in Johnston Iowa Jan 8, 2000

Bill Bradley: Appointments should reflect a world without gender

Q: What is your opinion of the fact that women earn less than men for the same work? A: I think that appointments should reflect that you see a world without gender. I think that women in the country today have so much talent burgeoning into the scene in the corporate sector and slowly in government. I think that thereís an opportunity to unlock enormous potential in our society, so that we can be as good as we can possibly be.
Source: Democrat Debate in Johnston Iowa Jan 8, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Civil Rights:
  Republicans:
Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Democrats:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Gov.Brian Schweitzer(MT)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Sep 08, 2014