Eleanor Holmes Norton on Civil Rights
Democratic Representative (DC-Delegate)
Ending racial profiling is part of fight for justice.
Norton adopted the CBC principles:
At the core of the Congressional Black Caucus priorities is its historical fight for civil rights and justice. Among other values, the CBC stresses federal emphasis on the following areas:
Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC8 on Jan 6, 2001
- Equal Justice. The CBC is committed to stopping racial discrimination in all aspects of our lives. We will continue efforts to end immediately the unjust practice of racial profiling, and the racial disparities in sentencing for both drug offenses and death penalty cases.
- Juvenile Justice. We must work with our children before they come in contact with our criminal justice system. The CBC supports conflict resolution and open communication initiatives that serve as preventive measures to violence. It is also the goal of this Caucus to properly address mandatory sentencing guidelines and racial sentencing disparities.
Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender.
Norton co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:
Title: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women. Summary: States that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR40 on Mar 22, 2001
Rated 67% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights.
Norton scores 67% 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):
- 0% - 20%: opposes gay rights (approx. 207 members)
- 20% - 70%: mixed record on gay rights (approx. 84 members)
- 70%-100%: supports gay rights (approx. 177 members)
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
Recognize Juneteenth as historical end of slavery.
Norton co-sponsored recognizing Juneteenth as historical end of slavery
A resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.
Recognizes the historical significance to the nation, and supports the continued celebration, of Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved African Americans were free). Declares the sense of Congress that:
Legislative Outcome: House versions are H.CON.RES.155 and H.RES.1237; related Senate resolution S.RES.584 counts for sponsorship. Resolution agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Source: S.RES.584 08-SR584 on Jun 4, 2008
- history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future; and
- the celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.
ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays.
Norton signed H.R.3017&S.1584
Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees). Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims. Prohibits related retaliation.
Makes this Act inapplicable to:
Source: Employment Non-Discrimination Act 09-HR3017 on Jun 24, 2009
- religious organizations; and
- the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces.
Constitutional Amendment for women's equal rights.
Norton signed Equal Rights Amendment for men and women
JOINT RESOLUTION: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women. Constitutional Amendment: Prohibits denying or abridging equality of rights under the law by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives: That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of 3/4ths of the several States:
- Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
- The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
- This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
[Explanatory note from Wikipedia.com and OnTheIssues.org]:
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and, in 1923, it was introduced in the Congress for the first time. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress, but failed to gain ratification before its June 30, 1982 deadline. This new proposed amendment is identical in wording to the original 1972 proposed amendment. It was proposed in Congress in every session from 1923 through 1970 prior to passing in 1972; and has been re-introduced in Congress in every session since 1982 after its failure at ratification. The current version removes the Congressionally imposed deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, so that if the bill passes Congress, states have no deadline as they did in 1982.
Source: HJR69&SJR21 11-HJR69 on Jun 22, 2011
Prohibit sexual-identity discrimination at schools.
Norton signed Student Non-Discrimination Act
Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2011:
Source: HR.998&S.555 11-HR0998 on Mar 10, 2011
- Prohibits public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally-assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates.
- Considers harassment to be a form of discrimination.
- Prohibits retaliation against anyone for opposing conduct they reasonably believe to be unlawful under this Act.
- Authorizes federal departments and agencies to enforce these prohibitions by cutting off the educational assistance of recipients found to be violating them.
Allows an aggrieved individual to assert a violation of this Act in a judicial proceeding and recover reasonable attorney's fees should they prevail.
- Deems a state's receipt of federal educational assistance for a program to constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity for conduct prohibited under this Act regarding such program.
Enforce against wage discrimination based on gender.
Norton co-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act
Congress finds the following:
Source: S.84&H.R.377 13-HR0377 on Jan 23, 2013
- Women have entered the workforce in record numbers over the past 50 years.
- Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.
- The existence of such pay disparities depresses the wages of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet; and undermines women's retirement security.
- Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist decades after the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. These barriers have resulted because the Equal Pay Act has not worked as Congress originally intended.
The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have important and unique responsibilities to help ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
- The Department of Labor is responsible for investigating and prosecuting equal pay violations, especially systemic violations, and in enforcing all of its mandates.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the primary enforcement agency for claims made under the Equal Pay Act.
- With a stronger commitment [to enforcement], increased information on wage data and more effective remedies, women will be better able to recognize and enforce their rights.
- Certain employers have already made great strides in eradicating unfair pay disparities in the workplace and their achievements should be recognized.
Provide benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees.
Norton co-sponsored providing benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees
Sen. LIEBERMAN: This legislation would require the Government to extend employee benefit programs to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees. It is sound public policy and it makes excellent business sense.
Under our bill, Federal employee and the employee's domestic partner would be eligible to participate in benefits to the same extent that married employees and their spouses participate. Employees and their partners would also assume the same obligations that apply to married employees and their spouses, such as anti-nepotism rules and financial disclosure requirements.
The Federal Government is our Nation's largest employer and should lead other employers, rather than lagging behind, in the quest to provide equal and fair compensation and benefits to all employees. That thousands of Federal workers who have dedicated their careers to public service and who live in committed relationships with same-sex domestic partners receive fewer protections for their
families than those married employees is patently unfair and, frankly, makes no economic sense.
I call upon my colleagues to express their support for this important legislation. It is time for the Federal Government to catch up to the private sector, not just to set an example but so that it can compete for the most qualified employees and ensure that all of our public servants receive fair and equitable treatment. It makes good economic and policy senses. It is the right thing to do.
SUMMARY: Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2007
Employees and their domestic partners will have the same benefits as married employees and their spouses under--
Source: Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (S.2521/H.R.4838) 2007-S2521 on Dec 19, 2007
- Employee health benefits
- Retirement and disability plans
- Family, medical, and emergency leave
- Group life insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Compensation for work injuries
- Death, disability, and similar benefits
- Relocation, travel, and related expenses.
Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment.
Norton co-sponsored re-introducing the Equal Rights Amendment
A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to equal rights for men and women, which shall be part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of 3/4 of the States:Sen. KENNEDY. "It's a privilege to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. The ERA is essential to guarantee that the freedoms protected by our Constitution apply equally to men and women. From the beginning of our history as a Nation, women have had to wage a constant, long and difficult battle to win the same basic rights granted to men. That battle goes on
today, since discrimination still continues in many ways.
- Section 1.Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
- Section 2.The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
- Section 3.This article shall take effect 2 years after the date of ratification.
"Despite passage of the Equal Pay Act & the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, discrimination against women continues to permeate the workforce and many areas of the economy. Today, women earn about 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, and the gap is even greater for women of color. More than 60% of working women are still clustered in a narrow range of traditionally female, traditionally low-paying occupations, and female-headed households continue to dominate the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.
"A stronger effort is clearly needed to finally live up to our commitment of full equality. The ERA alone cannot remedy all discrimination, but it will clearly strengthen the ongoing efforts of women across the country to obtain equal treatment.
"We know from the failed ratification experiences of the past that amending the Constitution to include the ERA will not be easy to achieve. But the women of America deserve no less."
Source: Equal Rights Amendment (S.J.RES.10/H.J.RES.40) 2007-SJR10 on Mar 29, 2007
Reinforce anti-discrimination and equal-pay requirements.
Norton co-sponsored reinforcing anti-discrimination and equal-pay requirements
A bill to restore, reaffirm, and reconcile legal rights and remedies under civil rights statutes. Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for:
- establishing discrimination based on disparate impact; and
- rights of action and recovery for unlawful discrimination.
Source: Civil Rights Act of 2008 (S.2554&H.R.5129) 2008-S2554 on Jan 24, 2008
- Authorizes civil actions in federal court for discrimination based on disability.
- Repeals provisions limiting the amount of compensatory and punitive damages that may be awarded in cases of intentional discrimination in employment.
- Revises provisions governing discrimination in the payment of wages, including equal pay requirements.
Give domestic partnership benefits to Federal employees.
Norton signed Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act
A federal employee who has a same-sex domestic partner and the domestic partner of the employee shall be entitled to benefits available to, and shall be subject to obligations imposed upon, a married employee and the spouse of the employee. In order to obtain benefits and assume obligations under this Act, an employee shall file an affidavit of eligibility certifying that the employee and the domestic partner of the employee:
- are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
- have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement;
- are at least
18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract;
- share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations
- are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else;
- are same sex domestic partners, and not related in a way that, if the two were of opposite sex, would prohibit legal marriage in the State in which they reside; and
- understand that willful falsification of information within the affidavit may lead to disciplinary action and the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification and may constitute a criminal violation.
An employee or domestic partner of an employee who obtains benefits under this Act shall file a statement of dissolution of the domestic partnership not later than 30 days after the death of the employee or the domestic partner or the date of dissolution of the domestic partnership.
Source: H.R.2517 2009-H2517 on May 20, 2009
Recognize the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.
Norton signed Recognizing the 40th anniversary of Stonewall
- Whereas the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, was a bar primarily patronized by a diverse cross-section of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community;
- Whereas at around 1:20 a.m. on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, closing the bar and forcing patrons outside;
- Whereas such raids were among the many ways in which government harassed and discriminated against members of the LGBT community during this period, which included, for example, prohibiting dancing with a person of the same sex, terminating one's employment, and using entrapment to arrest people;
- Whereas thousands returned to the Stonewall Inn on the nights of June 28 and July 2, 1969, to express their support of basic freedoms, equality, and fair treatment for LGBT Americans, chanting such slogans as 'Gay Power', and 'Equality For Homosexuals';
- Whereas the series of protests, often referred to as 'Stonewall', marked a watershed event in which
LGBT Americans dramatically showed a growing determination to publicly resist government discrimination and harassment;
- Whereas Stonewall sparked a remarkable increase in activism and action by LGBT Americans across the country to advocate for equal rights;
- Whereas inspired by Stonewall, LGBT pride parades and festivals occur in cities across the country and the world every June;
- Whereas a great deal of progress has been made in achieving equal rights for LGBT Americans since Stonewall occurred 40 years ago, but much work remains to be done:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
Source: H. RES. 433 2009-HR433 on May 13, 2009
- recognizes the 40th anniversary of Stonewall;
- honors those who participated during Stonewall and since that time in the civil rights struggle of LGBT Americans; and
- recommits itself to protecting and providing equal rights for all Americans, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
Honor the 100th anniversary of the NAACP.
Norton signed bill honoring the 100th anniversary of the NAACP
- Whereas the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, originally known as the National Negro Committee, was founded in New York City on February 12, 1909, the centennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, by a multiracial group of activists who met in a national conference to discuss the civil and political rights of African-Americans;
- Whereas the NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States;
- Whereas the mission of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination;
- Whereas the NAACP is committed to achieving its goals through nonviolence;
Whereas the NAACP advances its mission through reliance upon the press, the petition, the ballot, and the courts, and has been persistent in the use of legal and moral persuasion, even in the face of overt and violent racial hostility;
- Whereas the NAACP has used political pressure, marches, demonstrations, and effective lobbying to serve as the voice, as well as the shield, for minority Americans;
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Congress
Source: SCR.3&HCR.35 2009-SCR3 on Jan 28, 2009
- Recognizes the 100th anniversary of the historic founding of the NAACP.
- Honors and praises the NAACP on the occasion of its anniversary for its work to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all persons.
Supported legislation on violence against women & safety.
Norton adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 1: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN/SAFETY ISSUES:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC1 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR764—Child Abuse & Prevention Enforcement (CAPE) Act—To reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect, and for other purposes. (Pryce) STATUS: Passed House, 10/5/99
- HR1248—Violence Against Women Act of 1999 (VAWA Reauthorization)—A bill to prevent violence against women. (Morella) STATUS: Hearing held, 9/29/99
- HR1352—Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims’ Housing Act—A bill to provide housing assistance to domestic violence victims. (Schakowsky) STATUS: Amended version added to HR 1073 (Homeless Housing Programs Consolidation and Flexibility Act), which passed Banking Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, 4/15/99
- HR1869—Stalking Prevention and Victim Protection Act of 1999—A bill to expand the prohibition on stalking, and for other purposes.
(Kelly) STATUS: Hearing held, 9/29/99
- HR2130—Date-Rape Prevention Drug Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to add gamma hydroxybutyric acid and ketamine to the schedules of control substances, to provide for a national awareness campaign, and for other purposes. (Upton/Stupak/Jackson-Lee/Bliley) STATUS: Passed House, 10/12/99
- Protection of Women in Prison Act of 1999—A bill to require that facilities receiving federal funding develop and implement policies to restrict the role of male staff with regard to female inmates, address the particular health needs of female inmates, prohibit the routine shackling of pregnant women and women in labor, and provide additional protections to female inmates who report violations in order to protect them from retaliation. (Waters)
- HR3083—The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 1999—A bill to provide protection for battered immigrant women. (Schakowsky/Morella/Jackson-Lee)
Supported funding for women's and disadvantaged businesses.
Norton adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 9: WOMEN IN BUSINESS:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC12 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR413—PRIME Act—Grant program. Authorizes qualified organizations to provide technical assistance and capacity building services to microenterprise development organizations and programs and to disadvantaged entrepreneurs using funds from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (Rush/Leach)
- HR1496—Small Business Access and Choice for Entrepreneurs (ACE) Act—A bill to help reduce the number of uninsured self-employed persons, and their employees, by giving them better access to affordable health care options. This bi-partisan bill includes Association Health Plans (AHPs) and 100% tax deductibility of health care costs for the self- employed. AHPs allow the small businesses to join together through their trade associations to obtain the purchasing clout and administrative efficiency that employees
of large employers currently enjoy. The ACE Act also includes a provision for 100% deductibility of health insurance costs for the self-employed. Currently, the self- employed are allowed only a 60% deduction, while large businesses enjoy a full 100% deduction. (Talent/Dooley)
- HR1497—Women’s Business Centers Sustainability Act of 1999—A bill to amend the Small Business Act with respect to the women’s business center program. (Udall-NM) H.RES. 15—A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives regarding Government procurement access for women-owned businesses. (Kelly)
- HR2334—Access to Contract Equity Act (ACE)—A bill to amend title 10, United States Code, to extend and make improvements to the provisions relating to procurement contract goals for small disadvantaged businesses and certain institutions of higher education, and for other purposes. (Velazquez)
Supports ERA and comparable work pay rules for women.
Norton co-sponsored the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC8 on Jul 15, 1999
- H. Res. 107—CEDAW—A resolution expressing the sense of the House that the Senate should ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. (Woolsey)
- H.J. Res. 41—Equal Rights Amendment—A resolution proposing a constitutional amendment relative to equal rights for men and women. (Maloney/Morella/Shays/N.Johnson)
- HR541—Paycheck Fairness Act—A bill to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex. (DeLauro)
- HR1271—Fair Pay Act of 1999—A bill to prohibit discrimination in the payment of wages on account of sex, race, or national origin for work in equivalent jobs. The Fair Pay Act recognizes that if men and women are doing comparable work requiring the same skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, they should be paid a comparable wage. (Norton)
- H.Res. 202—Artwork in the Capitol—a resolution ensuring that artwork in the capitol is more representative of women’s contributions to society. (Kaptur/Morella)
Page last updated: Jun 17, 2013