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Jane Harman on Civil Rights

Democratic Representative (CA-36)


Voted YES on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

HR3685: Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Makes it an unlawful employment practice to discriminate against an individual on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, including actions based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of a person with whom the individual associates or has associated. Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims. Inapplicable to associations that are exempt from religious discrimination provisions.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. CASTOR: The march towards equality under the law for all of our citizens has sometimes been slow, but it has been steady. Over time, Congress has outlawed discrimination in the workplace, based upon a person's race, gender, age, national origin, religion and disability, because when it comes to employment, these decisions are rightly based upon a person's qualifications and job performance. This legislation that outlaws job discrimination based upon sexual orientation was first introduced over 30 years ago. A broad coalition of businesses and community organizations strongly support this landmark civil rights legislation, including the Human Rights Campaign; the Anti-Defamation League; and the NAACP.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. HASTINGS: Federal law bans job discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or gender. In addition, 19 States have passed laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. I strongly oppose discrimination in the workplace. However, I do not think it is the place of the Federal Government to legislate how each and every workplace operates. A number of States have enacted State laws in this area. That is their right. Many businesses have chosen to adopt their own policies. That is appropriate as well. This bill as written would expand Federal law into a realm where PERCEPTION would be a measure under discrimination law [which I consider inappropriate].

Reference: Employment Non-Discrimination Act; Bill HR3685 ; vote number 2007-1057 on Nov 13, 2007

Voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman.

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution stating: "Marriage in the US 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."

Proponents support voting YES because:

The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage, marriage between a man and a woman. The people have a right to know whether their elected Representatives agree with them about protecting traditional marriage.

Every child deserves both a father and a mother. Studies demonstrate the utmost importance of the presence of a child's biological parents in a child's happiness, health and future achievements. If we chip away at the institution which binds these parents and the family together, the institution of marriage, you begin to chip away at the future success of that child.

Opponents support voting NO because:

This amendment does not belong in our Constitution. It is unworthy of our great Nation. We have amended the Constitution only 27 times. Constitutional amendments have always been used to enhance and expand the rights of citizens, not to restrict them. Now we are being asked to amend the Constitution again, to single out a single group and to say to them for all time, you cannot even attempt to win the right to marry.

From what precisely would this amendment protect marriage? From divorce? From adultery? No. Evidently, the threat to marriage is the fact that there are millions of people in this country who very much believe in marriage, who very much want to marry but who are not permitted to marry. I believe firmly that in the not-too-distant future people will look back on these debates with the incredulity with which we now view the segregationist debates of years past.

Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill H J RES 88 ; vote number 2006-378 on Jul 18, 2006

Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent.

To extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act; Bill HR 3199 ; vote number 2005-627 on Dec 14, 2005

Voted NO on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pledge Protection Act: Amends the Federal judicial code to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Todd Akin [R, MO-2]; Bill H.R.2028 ; vote number 2004-467 on Sep 23, 2004

Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration.

Desecration of Flag resolution: Vote to pass the joint resolution to put forward a Constitutional amendment to state that Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. Note: A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (284 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HJRes.4 ; vote number 2003-234 on Jun 3, 2003

Shift from group preferences to economic empowerment of all.

Harman adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Strengthen America’s Common Civic Culture
The more ethnically and culturally diverse America becomes, the harder we must all work to affirm our common civic culture -- the values and democratic institutions we share and that define our national identity as Americans. This means we should resist an “identity politics” that confers rights and entitlements on groups and instead affirm our common rights and responsibilities as citizens. Multiethnic democracy requires fighting discrimination against marginalized groups; empowering the disadvantaged to join the economic, political, and cultural mainstream; and respecting diversity while insisting that what we have in common as Americans is more important than how we differ. One way to encourage an ethic of citizenship and mutual obligation is to promote voluntary national service. If expanded to become available to everyone who wants to participate, national service can help turn the strong impulse toward volunteerism among our young people into a major resource in addressing our social problems. It will also help revive a sense of patriotism and national unity at a time when military service is no longer the common experience of young Americans.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC6 on Aug 1, 2000

Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

Harman co-sponsored 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

Constitutional Amendment for equal rights by gender.

Harman 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 73% by the ACLU, indicating a pro-civil rights voting record.

Harman scores 73% 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 100% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance.

Harman scores 100% 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 92% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance.

Harman scores 92% 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

ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays.

Harman 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:
  1. religious organizations; and
  2. the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces.
Source: Employment Non-Discrimination Act 09-HR3017 on Jun 24, 2009

Ratify CEDAW (Discrimination Against Women).

Harman co-sponsored Resolution on CEDAW

RESOLUTION Expressing that the Senate should ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
  1. the full realization of the rights of women is vital to the development and well-being of people of all nations; and
  2. the Senate should, therefore, give its advice and consent to the ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Source: H.RES.20 11-HRes20 on Jan 5, 2011

Provide benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees.

Harman 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

Source: Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (S.2521/H.R.4838) 2007-S2521 on Dec 19, 2007

Re-introduce the Equal Rights Amendment.

Harman co-sponsored re-introducing the Equal Rights Amendment

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.

"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

Give domestic partnership benefits to Federal employees.

Harman 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:
  1. are each other's sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;
  2. have a common residence, and intend to continue the arrangement;
  3. are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract;
  4. share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations
  5. are not married to or domestic partners with anyone else;
  6. 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
  7. 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

      Supported legislation on violence against women & safety.

      Harman 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:
      • 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)
      Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC1 on Jul 15, 1999

      Supported funding for women's and disadvantaged businesses.

      Harman 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:
      • 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)
      Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC12 on Jul 15, 1999

      Supports ERA and comparable work pay rules for women.

      Harman 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 5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:
      • 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)
      Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC8 on Jul 15, 1999

      2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Civil Rights: Jane Harman on other issues:
      CA Gubernatorial:
      Antonio Villaraigosa
      Jerry Brown
      Jerry Sanders
      CA Senatorial:
      Barbara Boxer
      Dianne Feinstein
      Elizabeth Emken
      Gail Lightfoot

      Retiring to run for other office:

      Running for President:
      TX-14:Ron Paul(R)

      Running for Mayor:
      CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

      Running for Governor:
      IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
      WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

      Running for Senate:
      AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
      CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
      FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
      HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
      IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
      MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
      MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
      ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
      NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
      NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
      NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
      WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
      Lost Primary 2012:
      IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
      NJ-9:Steven Rothman(D)
      OH-2:Jean Schmidt(R)
      OH-9:Dennis Kucinich(D)
      PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
      PA-17:Tim Holden(D)
      TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

      Retiring 2012:
      AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
      AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
      CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
      CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
      CA-18:Dennis Cardoza(R)
      CA-24:Elton Gallegly(D)
      CA-26:David Dreier(R)
      CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
      IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
      IL-15:Timothy Johnson(R)
      IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
      KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
      MA-1:John Olver(D)
      MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
      MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
      NC-9:Sue Myrick(R)
      NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
      NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
      NY-5:Gary Ackerman(D)
      NY-10:Ed Towns(D)
      NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
      OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
      OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
      PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
      TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
      WA-6:Norm Dicks(D)
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      Page last updated: Jun 10, 2012