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Kevin Cramer on Civil Rights

 

 


Marriage is defined in Scripture

Q: Do you support same-sex marriage?

A: Marriage is defined in Scripture and tradition. Its definition is not subject to politicians.

Source: North Dakota Congressional 2012 Political Courage Test , Oct 30, 2012

Voted YES on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Congressional Summary:
    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
  1. "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
  2. "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
  3. "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
  4. "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic): House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Bill H.R.11 ; vote number 13-HV055 on Feb 28, 2013

Supports defining traditional marriage.

Cramer supports the CC Voters Guide question on same-sex marriage

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Maintaining current federal law defining marriage as one man and one woman"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q3b on Oct 31, 2012

Opposes same-sex marriage.

Cramer opposes the PVS survey question on same-sex marriage

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Marriage: Do you support same-sex marriage?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q3 on Aug 30, 2012

Protect anti-same-sex marriage opinions as free speech.

Cramer co-sponsored Marriage and Religious Freedom Act

Congressional Summary:Congress finds the following:

  1. Leading legal scholars concur that conflicts between same-sex marriage and religious liberty are real and should be legislatively addressed.
  2. As the President stated in response to the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, 'Americans hold a wide range of views' on the issue of same-sex marriage, and 'maintaining our Nation's commitment to religious freedom' is 'vital'.
  3. Protecting religious freedom from Government intrusion is a Government interest of the highest order.
  4. Laws that protect the free exercise of religious beliefs about marriage will encourage private citizens and institutions to demonstrate similar tolerance and therefore contribute to a more respectful, diverse, and peaceful society.
[Accordingly, this bill] prohibits the federal government from taking an adverse action against a person for acts in accordance with a religious belief that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.

Opponent's argument against bill: (David Brunori on Forbes.com): A bipartisan group of lawmakers thinks it's appropriate for the American taxpayer to subsidize organizations fighting for "traditional marriage." The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act would give non-profit organizations that don't like gay marriage the ability to engage in partisan political activities without the fear of losing their exempt status. The sponsors are touting the bill as a means of protecting freedom of conscience on the issue of marriage. The proposed law will allow non-profit organizations to engage in political activity, as long as it's for championing heterosexual marriage, while non-profits supporting marriage equality cannot engage in partisan political activity. The tax laws should be neutral when it comes to politics.

Source: H.R.3133 13-H3133 on Sep 19, 2013

State definition of marriage supersedes federal gay marriage.

Cramer co-sponsored State Marriage Defense Act

Congressional summary::Prohibits any interpretation of US administrative agencies, as applied with respect to individuals domiciled in a state of the United States:

  1. the term "marriage" from including any relationship that the state does not recognize as a marriage; and
  2. the term "spouse" from including an individual who is a party to a relationship that is not recognized as a marriage by that state.

Opponent's argument against (CNN.com Feb. 8 report on Attorney General Eric Holder's action which prompted this bill): In a major milestone for gay rights, the US government expanded recognition of same-sex marriages in federal legal matters, including bankruptcies, prison visits and survivor benefits. "It is the Justice Department's policy to recognize lawful same-sex marriages as broadly as possible, to ensure equal treatment for all members of society regardless of sexual orientation," Attorney General Eric Holder said. The federal expansion includes 34 states where same-sex marriage isn't legal. For example, a same-sex couple legally married in Massachusetts can now have a federal bankruptcy proceeding recognized in Alabama, even though it doesn't allow same-sex marriages.

Proponent's argument in favor (Washington Post Feb. 13 reporting on Sen. Ted Cruz): If passed, the bill would cede marriage definition to states for federal purposes, which would effectively reverse the gains same-sex couples made after the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned by the Supreme Court in June 2013. Cruz said, "I support traditional marriage. The federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens. The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states."

Source: H.R.3829 & S. 2024 14-H3829 on Jan 9, 2014

Religious objections to GLBT services same as 1960s racism.

Cramer voted NAY H.Amdt. 1128 to H.R. 5055

Heritage Action Summary: The Maloney Amendment would ratify President Obama's 2014 executive order barring federal contractors from what it describes as "discrimination" on the basis of "sexual orientation and gender identity" in their private employment policies. In practice, it would have required federal contractors to grant biologically male employees who identify as women unfettered access to women's lockers, showers, and bathrooms.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote NO: (5/25/2016): Congress should not be elevating sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class garnering special legal privileges, which is the intent of the Maloney Amendment. The Maloney Amendment constitutes bad policy that unnecessarily regulates businesses. It risks undoing longstanding protections in civil rights law and makes clear that the president's orders are not exempt from them.

ACLU recommendation to vote YES: (5/11/2016): We see today claims to a right to discriminate--by refusing to provide services to LGBT people--based on religious objections. Claiming a right to discriminate in the name of religion is not new. In the 1960s, we saw objections to laws requiring integration in restaurants because of sincerely held beliefs that God wanted the races to be separate. We saw religiously affiliated universities refuse to admit students who engaged in interracial dating. In those cases, we recognized that requiring integration was not about violating religious liberty; it was about ensuring fairness. It's no different today.

Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs, but this does not give us the right to use our religion to impose those beliefs on others.

Legislative outcome: Amendment passed by the House 223-195-15 4/26/16; overall bill H.R.5055 failed 112-305-16 on 5/26/2016

Source: Supreme Court case 16-H5055 argued on May 25, 2016

Respect faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage.

Cramer signed respecting faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage

Congressional Summary: The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that:

  1. marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or
  2. sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
Legal Argument Opposed: [Secular.org]: "The stated purpose of FADA is to protect the tax-exempt status, government contract, or any other federal benefit of those who do not comply with the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. This act's true impact would allow for sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples and their children--all under the guise of religious liberty. FADA would completely eviscerate the historic nondiscrimination Executive Order that President Obama signed last summer that prohibits federal contractors from engaging in discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The First Amendment protects freedom of religion and freedom from religion, not the special privileges of the religiously affiliated at the expense of the fundamental rights of other Americans."

Political Argument Opposed: [ACLU, July 20, 2015]: The House of Representatives & leading anti-LGBT organizations are pushing a bill--disingenuously titled the First Amendment Defense Act--that would open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT people, single mothers, and unmarried couples. This bill would

Source: H.R.2802 16-HR2802 on Jun 17, 2015

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Kevin Cramer on other issues:
ND Gubernatorial:
Doug Burgum
Jack Dalrymple
Marvin Nelson
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Dustin Peyer
Eliot Glassheim
Heidi Heitkamp
John Hoeven
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