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Tom Ridge on Civil Rights

Secretary of Homeland Defense; Former Republican Governor (PA)


Opposes Affirmative Action

Source: 1998 PA National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

No special gay laws; no gay marriage

Q: Do you believe that the Pennsylvania government should include sexual orientation in Pennsylvania’s anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Q: Do you believe that the Pennsylvania government should recognize same-sex marriages?

A: No.

Source: 1998 PA National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

Support principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment.

Ridge adopted the National Governors Association policy:

In 1976 the National Governors Association expressed support for ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment, which would constitutionally guarantee full citizenship rights and opportunities for women. In 1982 the drive for ratification fell short, and efforts to initiate the amendatory process were taken.

The National Governors Association reaffirms its support for the principles embodied in the Equal Rights Amendment, i.e., that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on the basis of gender.

Source: NGA Executive Committee Policy EC-14: Equal Rights Policy 01-NGA1 on Feb 15, 2001

Ridge signed AFER amicus brief and Daily News coverage

[Many] conservative leaders are signatories to an "amicus brief" calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Prop. 8. Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry. The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) prepared an "amicus," or a "friend of the court" brief: a letter to the Supreme Court outlining a position on a pending case. AFER prepared this amicus brief, in support of gay marriage, and the "amici" signed it prior to sending to the Supreme Court.

"Many of the signatories to this brief previously did not support civil marriage for same-sex couples; others did not hold a considered position on the issue," the brief said. "However, in the years since Massachusetts and other States have made civil marriage a reality for same-sex couples, amici, like many Americans, have reexamined the evidence and their own positions and have concluded that there is no legitimate, fact-based reason for denying same-sex couples the same recognition in law that is available to opposite-sex couples."

AFER is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American. As the sole sponsor of the federal court challenge of California's Proposition 8, now known as Hollingsworth v. Perry, AFER is leading the fight for marriage equality and equality under the law for every American. Building bi-partisan support has been part of AFER's mission ever since the filing of its federal constitutional challenge to overturn Proposition 8.

Source: AFER amicus brief 13-AFER on Apr 1, 2013

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for policy papers on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for a profile of Tom Ridge.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Tom Ridge.
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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2013