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Luke Messer on Civil Rights

 

 


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

Opposes same-sex marriage.

Messer 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

Don't elevate gender identity as a protected class.

Messer voted YEA 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.

Messer 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

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Page last updated: Jun 09, 2018