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Robert Reich on Civil Rights

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor


Supports civil unions

As governor, I will actively fight to pass civil unions legislation, as well as domestic partnership legislation which would extend health insurance and other benefits to the partners of GLBT state and municipal workers.
Source: Campaign web site RobertReich.org, “Issues” , May 2, 2002

Extend partner benefits to gays

I strongly oppose all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I believe that gays and lesbians who are in committed relationships should have the same legal rights and responsibilities as married couples. It’s unconscionable that partners in long-term, loving relationships can be denied the right to visit each other in a hospital, or receive survivor benefits.
Source: Campaign web site RobertReich.org, “Issues” , May 2, 2002

Equal rights for GLBT; against DOMA

I will also beat back attempts to deny gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people equal rights, such as House Bill 4840, the “Super-DOMA” [Defense of Marriage Act] legislation that would deny legal recognition to same-sex relationships. I recently submitted testimony to the Legislature opposing the measure, and urged lawmakers to reject it. It’s mean-spirited and divisive, and should have no place in Massachusetts.
Source: Campaign web site RobertReich.org, “Issues” , May 2, 2002

Gender discrimination has yet to be wrung out of society

Well-educated women still earn less than well-educated men, even when they're doing the same job. Gender discrimination has yet to be wrung out of society. But if present trends continue, it seems a safe bet that sometime this century women will catch up. The new economy rewards traits that women are no less likely than men to possess: inventiveness and empathy, which I've previously described as belonging, respectively, to geeks and shrinks. Moreover, as I said earlier, education is highly correlated with future income (and with the valuable connections leading to good jobs), so as women match men in acquiring college diplomas, and the connections that come with them, the gap will also narrow. Meanwhile, women are taking over a steadily larger portion of managerial and professional jobs.
Source: The Future of Success, by Robert Reich, p.162-163 , Feb 8, 2002

Social reform should include faith-based institutions

One way to a better social balance might be through a great moral and spiritual "reawakening" in which people rose en masse to renounce the excesses of acquisitive individualism. Such surges have occurred from time to time in history. But history reveals that their consequences have not been altogether positive. Moral fervor, once unleashed, is not easily contained. It seems safer, and more practical, to explore more modest avenues of reform. Some of these will have to be pursued by government; others are more properly left to the nonprofit sector, to faith-based institutions, universities, and social entrepreneurs.
Source: The Future of Success, by Robert Reich, p.242 , Feb 8, 2002

Greatest threat to free speech: pandering to consumerism

At least one among 1,500 television channels will offer a niche for richly provocative TV; at least one small online publisher will distribute intriguing books for which very little readership exists. And yet, it must be asked whether these little slivers of artistic defiance will exert any influence on a culture pandering more efficiently than ever to what's popular; or whether they will merely function as remote and harmless escape valves for the ever more conveniently ignored.

The greatest threat to freedom of speech in many modern societies comes not from overt controls by oppressive regimes but from a more fiercely competitive market in which buyers can so easily switch to whatever they find more satisfying. Such a marketplace dictates with increasing ferocity what will be written, broadcast, and researched. The public, deluged with what delights it and protected from what may cause it discomfort, is thus armored against what it may need to know.

Source: The Future of Success, by Robert Reich, p. 68 , Jan 9, 2001

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Page last updated: Mar 15, 2014