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Orrin Hatch on Civil Rights

Republican Sr Senator (UT)


Founders avoided “national church,” 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 don’t 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

Amendments for school prayer & flag protection

I’d 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. I’d pass a flag amendment that would protect our flag from people urinating on it, defecating on it, tearing it and burning it with contempt. I’d do a lot of things to get rid of the partial-birth abortion procedure in our country that has no justification at all. It’s barbaric.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa , Jan 16, 2000

Merit and outreach are the bases for helping minorities

Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

Gays support Democrats, but no intolerance

Hatch says when he told fellow Republicans at their state convention two months ago that they should be proud of their party because “we don’t have the gays and lesbians with us,” he didn’t intend the comment to sound prejudicial. The Utah lawmaker was just pointing out that “gays and lesbians, by and large, are very intelligent, highly educated, high-earning people, who support mainly Democrats.” Hatch said he resents any implication that he is intolerant.
Source: Associated Press , Aug 13, 1999

Homosexuality is contrary to the Bible, but no intolerance

“You can sum it up in one sentence: Orrin Hatch is tolerant of all people and he doesn’t try to tell people how to live unless they ask him,” said Hatch. While Hatch said he is tolerant of all people, he does believe that homosexuality is contrary to the Bible. “It’s a religious belief to me that homosexuality flies in the face of biblical teachings,” he said, noting he can’t determine “whether it’s a genetic predisposition or whether it is a choice.”
Source: Associated Press , Aug 13, 1999

Filth should not be banned; only youth exposure should be

[We can] stem the influence of cultural violence by doing more to limit the exposure of children to violence. The entertainment industry [should] enforce pre-existing ratings systems. Let me be clear. I am not arguing that this filth should be banned or regulated by the government. But we should limit our young people’s exposure to it. It is one thing to prohibit producing this material. It’s another thing to condone the entertainment industry’s embracing of this garbage and its sale to children.
Source: senate.gov/~hatch/ “Juvenile Offender Act” , May 11, 1999

Hollywood should do more to change culture for good

There is a sense among many Americans that we are powerless to change our culture. I believe we can change our culture if only we are willing to lead. The time has come for us as a nation to demand more accountability from everyone involved-including the entertainment industry. Why can’t this industry, which is a source for so much good, do more to discourage the production & marketing of filth to children? Why shouldn’t the industry help fight the marketing of violence to young people?
Source: senate.gov/~hatch “Marketing Violence” , May 4, 1999

Rating system is ignored for mature movies, games, & music

Prolonged exposure of children to ultra-violent movies & video games increases the likelihood for aggression, and we must be concerned about how these products are marketed. The rating system for video games [is not] enforced or even taken seriously - only 21% of retail stores prohibit rentals to minors. [The same applies to] music marketed to our youth. We should not ignore the fact that violent, misogynistic music may ultimately affect the behavior and attitudes of many young men toward women.
Source: senate.gov/~hatch/ “Marketing Violence to Our Children” , May 4, 1999

Crime Bill “reforms” Miranda Rights and Habeas Corpus

The last major element of [Hatch’s proposed “21st Century Justice Act”] enacts procedural and judicial reforms that improve the administration of justice. Our bill reforms the Miranda rule to allow voluntary statements in evidence. It codifies common-sense procedural issues, including the “good-faith” exception to exclusionary rule, and further reforms habeas corpus appeals.
Source: senate.gov/~hatch “Statements” , Apr 28, 1999

Draw line between free speech and desecration of the flag

In 1989, the Supreme Court created a “right” to burn the American flag. So now we must amend the Constitution to restore the historic right to protect the flag. The amendment will leave untouched the current constitutional protections to speak at a rally or to write to newspapers. We are not interested in diminishing free speech. But, by restoring the traditional power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag, we are drawing the line between legitimate free speech and destructive conduct.
Source: Speech before the American Legion Legislative Rally , Mar 23, 1999

We owe a Flag Protection Amendment to veterans & to America

I support a constitutional amendment to protect the American flag from acts of physical desecration. With all the issues pending before Congress, like saving Social Security, national security, education, and the budget, there are those who ask, “Why should Congress focus any time and attention on a constitutional amendment to protect the flag?” Because it is the right thing to do. We owe it to the veterans who defended our flag, and we owe it to the American people who love our flag.
Source: Speech before the American Legion Legislative Rally , Mar 23, 1999

Voted NO 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.

Hatch says, "Hatch (R-UT)"

Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Bill S. 47 ; vote number 13-SV019 on Feb 12, 2013

Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.

The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
  1. the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
  2. the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
  3. abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
  4. destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment; Bill S.J.Res.12 ; vote number 2006-189 on Jun 27, 2006

Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 2006-163 on Jun 7, 2006

Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
Reference: Bill S.625 ; vote number 2002-147 on Jun 11, 2002

Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
Reference: Bill S1510 ; vote number 2001-300 on Oct 11, 2001

Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
Reference: Bill S.2549 ; vote number 2000-136 on Jun 20, 2000

Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Reference: Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.

This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture; Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1997-275 on Oct 23, 1997

Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman.'
Reference: Bill HR 3396 ; vote number 1996-280 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

Would have prohibited job discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Status: Bill Defeated Y)49; N)50; NV)1
Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill S. 2056 ; vote number 1996-281 on Sep 10, 1996

Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning.

Approval of a constitutional amendment which would prohibit desecration or burning of the U.S. flag.
Status: Joint Res. Defeated Y)63; N)36
Reference: Flag Desecration Bill; Bill S. J. Res. 31 ; vote number 1995-600 on Dec 12, 1995

Voted YES on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.

Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Reference: Bill HR 1854 ; vote number 1995-317 on Jul 20, 1995

Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

Hatch wrote a Constitutional Amendment:

Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001

Rated 20% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

Hatch scores 20% 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

Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

Hatch scores 0% by the HRC on gay rights

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:

About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):

The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where GLBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Ever since its founding in 1980, HRC has led the way in promoting fairness for GLBT Americans. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity.

Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 14% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.

Hatch scores 14% by the NAACP on affirmative action

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:

About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country's civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels. From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Orrin Hatch on other issues:
UT Gubernatorial:
Gary Herbert
Rocky Anderson
UT Senatorial:
Mike Lee

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Retiring in 2014 election:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
AZ:Kyl(R)
CT:Lieberman(D)
HI:Akaka(D)
ME:Snowe(R)
ND:Conrad(D)
NE:Nelson(D)
NM:Bingaman(D)
TX:Hutchison(R)
VA:Webb(D)
WI:Kohl(D)
Senate Retirements 2014:
GA:Chambliss(R)
IA:Harkin(D)
MI:Levin(D)
MT:Baucus(D)
MT:Walsh(D)
NE:Johanns(R)
OK:Coburn(R)
SD:Johnson(D)
WV:Rockefeller(D)

Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK: Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
AL: Sessions(R,unopposed)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R)
CO: Udall(D) vs.Gardner(R) vs.Baumgardner(R) vs.Buck(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Stephens(R)
DE: Coons(D) vs.Wade(R)
GA: Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Kingston(R) vs.Gingrey(R) vs.Handel(R) vs.Broun(R)
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Cavasso(R) vs.Pirkowski(R)
IA: Braley(D) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Whitaker(R) vs.Clovis(R)
ID: Risch(R) vs.Mitchell(D)
IL: Durbin(D) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L) vs.Truax(R)
KS: Roberts(R) vs.Tiahrt(R) vs.Wolf(R) vs.Taylor(D) vs.Orman(I)
KY: McConnell(R) vs.Bevin(R) vs.Grimes(D)
LA: Landrieu(D) vs.Cassidy(R) vs.Maness(R)
MA: Markey(D) vs.Herr(R) vs.Skarin(I) vs.Gomez(R)
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MI: Land(R) vs.Peters(D) vs.Wiedenhoeft(R)
MN: Franken(D) vs.McFadden(R) vs.Abeler(R) vs.Ortman(R)
MS: Cochran(R) vs.Childers(D) vs.McDaniel(R)
MT: Walsh(D) vs.Daines(R) vs.Rankin(I) vs.Edmunds(R) vs.Bohlinger(D)
NC: Hagan(D) vs.Tillis(R) vs.Haugh(L)
NE: Sasse(R) vs.Domina(D) vs.Haugh(L) vs.Osborn(R)
NH: Shaheen(D) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R) vs.Martin(R)
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Mailing Address:
Senate Office SH-104, Washington, DC 20510
Phone number:
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Page last updated: Aug 10, 2014