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Andy Harris on Civil Rights

 

 


Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman

No government program can take the place of the family. I believe that the family is the most important unit of society and that government policy should be aimed at strengthening, not undermining the family. I am a strong defender of the sanctity of human life and I believe that marriage should remain an institution between one man and one woman. It is essential to uphold the traditional family values that have been the American tradition.
Source: 2010 House campaign website, andyharris.com, "Issues" , Nov 2, 2010

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.

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

Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

Harris supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

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

Harris 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

Ensure disabled access to public pools.

Harris co-sponsored Pool SAFE Act

A BILL to revise certain rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) relating to accessible means of entry to pools.

    This Act may be cited as the 'Pool Safety and Accessibility for Everyone Act' or the 'Pool SAFE Act'. Congress finds the following:
  1. One of the purposes of the ADA is to 'provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities'.
  2. The Nation's proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to ensure equality of opportunity and full participation for such individuals.
  3. The ADA recognizes that public accommodations should provide access to their amenities to individuals with disabilities.
  4. It is important for public accommodations to provide access to their amenities, including pools, to individuals with disabilities.
  5. Public accommodations should provide access to their amenities, including pools, in a reasonable, efficient, and expedient manner that accounts for the interests of individuals with disabilities and also considers other legitimate concerns, such as safety and feasibility.
  6. The current regulations for the ADA as the regulations relate to the accessibility of pools at public accommodations, do not reasonably or adequately balance the access needs of individuals with disabilities with other legitimate concerns.
REVISION OF RULES.
Source: H.R.203 13-HR0203 on Jan 4, 2013

State definition of marriage supersedes federal gay marriage.

Harris 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

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Civil Rights: Andy Harris on other issues:
MD Gubernatorial:
Larry Hogan
Martin O`Malley
Robert Ehrlich
MD Senatorial:
Benjamin Cardin

Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2015:
AZ-7: Rep.-Elect Ruben Gallego
CA-11:Rep.-Elect Mark DeSaulnier
CA-31:Rep.-Elect Pete Aguilar(R⇒D)
CA-33:Rep.-Elect Ted Lieu
CA-35:Rep.-Elect Norma Torres
FL-2: Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham(R⇒D)
HI-1: Rep.-Elect Mark Takai
MA-6: Rep.-Elect Seth Moulton
MI-12:Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell
MI-14:Rep.-Elect Brenda Lawrence
NE-2: Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford(R⇒D)
NJ-12:Rep.-Elect Bonnie Coleman
NY-4: Rep.-Elect Kathleen Rice
PA-13:Rep.-Elect Brendan Boyle
VA-8: Rep.-Elect Donald Beyer
Seated in special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12:Alma Adams(D)
NJ-1: Donald Norcross(D)
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
AR-2: Rep.-Elect French Hill
AR-4: Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman
AL-6: Rep.-Elect Gary Palmer
CA-25:Rep.-Elect Steve Knight
CA-45:Rep.-Elect Mimi Walters
CO-4: Rep.-Elect Ken Buck
FL-26:Rep.-Elect Carlos Curbelo(D⇒R)
GA-1: Rep.-Elect Buddy Carter
GA-10:Rep.-Elect Jody Hice
GA-11:Rep.-Elect Barry Loudermilk
GA-12:Rep.-Elect Rick Allen(D⇒R)
IA-1: Rep.-Elect Rod Blum(D⇒R)
IA-3: Rep.-Elect David Young
IL-10:Rep.-Elect Robert Dold(D⇒R)
IL-12:Rep.-Elect Mike Bost(D⇒R)
More newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
LA-5: Rep.-Elect Ralph Abraham
LA-6: Rep.-Elect Garret Graves
ME-2: Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin(D⇒R)
MI-4: Rep.-Elect John Moolenaar
MI-8: Rep.-Elect Mike Bishop
MI-11:Rep.-Elect Dave Trott
MN-6: Rep.-Elect Tom Emmer
MT-0: Rep.-Elect Ryan Zinke
NC-6: Rep.-Elect Mark Walker
NC-7: Rep.-Elect David Rouzer(D⇒R)
NH-1: Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta(D⇒R)
NJ-3: Rep.-Elect Tom MacArthur
NV-4: Rep.-Elect Cresent Hardy(D⇒R)
NY-1: Rep.-Elect Lee Zeldin(D⇒R)
NY-21:Rep.-Elect Elise Stefanik(D⇒R)
NY-24:Rep.-Elect John Katko
OK-5: Rep.-Elect Steve Russell
PA-6: Rep.-Elect Ryan Costello
TX-4: Rep.-Elect John Ratcliffe
TX-23:Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
TX-36:Rep.-Elect Brian Babin
UT-4: Rep.-Elect Mia Love(D⇒R)
VA-10:Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock
WA-4: Rep.-Elect Dan Newhouse
WI-6: Rep.-Elect Glenn Grothman
WV-2: Rep.-Elect Alex Mooney
WV-3: Rep.-Elect Evan Jenkins(D⇒R)
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