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Eleanor Holmes Norton on Civil Rights

Democratic Representative (DC-Delegate)


Women's paycheck equality is simple update, not very radical

Q: If more women were represented in our government, what changes do you think we would expect?

A: We better not over-emphasize that, because what tends to happen, if you take some absolutely pure women's issues--let's leave aside the controversial ones like abortion--but take a pure issue like the Paycheck Fairness Act. I was an original co-sponsor of that bill. This is a bill that simply updates the Equal Pay Act, which was the first of the great civil rights acts. It was passed before the 1964 Act and the 1965 Act that of course brought about the civil rights revolution. And it's a bill that would simply update the Equal Pay Act in ways that are not very radical. That bill didn't have a single Republican woman co-sponsor. I don't think that has always been the case. But in a Congress that is as polarized as this one, there is not a dime's worth of difference between Republican men and Republican women.

Source: Make A Woman President?, by Marianne Schnall, p.332 , Nov 5, 2013

Why did it take 150 years for women's right to vote?

Q: How symbolic do you think it would be to have a woman as president?

A: Here we have a minority group that began as slaves in this country, and then moved to being a hated minority, discriminated against until very recent history. That's a case by itself, so we can't look at women on the same grid. I began to wonder why it took women 150 years or so to get the right to vote. They slept with men who voted, yet most men came out against them having even the vote.

Source: Make A Woman President?, by Marianne Schnall, p.331 , Nov 5, 2013

Ending racial profiling is part of fight for justice.

Norton adopted the CBC principles:

Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC8 on Jan 6, 2001

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):

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:

  1. history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future; and
  2. the celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.
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

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:
  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

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:
  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.
  2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
  3. 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

Source: HR.998&S.555 11-HR0998 on Mar 10, 2011

Enforce against anti-gay discrimination in public schools.

Norton co-sponsored Student Non-Discrimination Act

Congressional Summary: