Alan Keyes on Civil Rights

American Independent nominee for President; 2004 Republican challenger for IL Senate

Federal Marriage Amendment to define the natural family

We seek the passage of a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and oppose all attempts everywhere to redefine marriage as being anything but what it has always been: the union of one man and one woman. Since the natural family is the basic God-given institution of our civilization, and the nursery of our future, it must be protected from all who would destroy it.
Source: America‘s Independent Party 2008 Platform & Constitution Aug 20, 2008

‘Separation of church & state‘ misinterprets Constitution

The “separation of church and state” doctrine is a misinterpretation of the Constitution. The First Amendment prohibition of established religion aims at forbidding all government-sponsored coercion of religious conscience. It does not forbid all religious influence upon politics or society.

The free exercise of religion means nothing if, in connection with the ordinary events and circumstances of life, individuals are forbidden to act upon their religious faith. I would do everything in my power, through public discourse and persuasion, by proposing legislation, and by careful scrutiny of the candidates for judicial appointments, to turn the tide against constitutional rulings that undermine religious freedom.

Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Gay marriage invalid because gay couples cannot reproduce

Q: [to Keyes]: You’ve criticized homosexuality throughout your career. What would you say to your child if he or she were a homosexual?

KEYES: Marriage is based upon heterosexual relations because they are connected to procreation. Where procreation is impossible, marriage is irrelevant. And that is the civic explanation against homosexual marriage. It is irrelevant. And the idea that one should have legislation that is regulating private friendships for no reason is a degrading of those friendships.

OBAMA: Well, to answer the original question, I would love that child and seek to support them. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman but I detest the bashing and vilifying of gays and lesbians. Most gays and lesbians are seeking basic recognition of their rights so they’re not discriminated against in employment or renting a house, so they can see their partner in a hospital. These are rights for everybody, not just some people.

Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes Oct 21, 2004

The path to your freedom is standing firm for God’s will

What you stand firm for, what you stand firm for in the way of God’s will, that is the path to your freedom. And that means that if we want freedom, we’re going to have to learn that the only path of citizenship open to people of Christian conscience is the path of that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. And that liberty requires that we stand where God wants us to stand, and that we refuse to surrender our rights to acknowledge His will and to live in societies that respect His law.
Source: Rally for the Ten Commandments, Hillsdale, Michigan Feb 7, 2004

Protect religion from the state, but not vice versa

Influence can flow from the church to the state, but power and force can’t flow back from the state to the church. So, there is a separation, but that separation was not meant to protect the state from the religion. It was meant to protect religion from the state. And what is most ironic and most sad, what would be silly if it weren’t so grievous in its consequences, is that the very purpose of the First Amendment it is the amendment cited by the federal judges to impose that very dictatorship.
Source: Rally for the Ten Commandments, Hillsdale, Michigan Feb 7, 2004

Right to acknowledge God is the foundation of all our rights

We have seen marches on Washington for the sake of civil rights, union rights, women’s rights and gay rights and every other kind of rights. But at the bottom of it all there is that statement that we get our rights from God. If they don’t let us acknowledge God, then they undermine the very foundation of all that courage wherewith we claim our liberty. That means this time, we will come together not just for this right or that right, but for that which is the foundation of all our other rights.
Source: Rally for the Ten Commandments, Hillsdale, Michigan Feb 7, 2004

Public display of the Ten Commandments is a state’s right

Some members of Congress are at work on bills that, using the power the Constitution gives them, will remove from the purview of the federal courts that ought to be reserved to the states and the people by the First Amendment! They have no right to tell us we cannot pray! They have no power to tell us we cannot put the Ten Commandments in our schools and in our public buildings! They have no constitutional authority to stand in the way of our reverence for God in and through our state institutions!
Source: Rally in Blairsville, Georgia Oct 21, 2003

The belief that you can’t legislate morality is nonsensical

I don’t think it’s an accident that the ACLU has put on this big push to pretend you can’t honor the Ten Commandments in the courts and in the laws. They want to intimidate us with the belief that it’s somehow illegitimate to apply the fruits of our faith & our moral convictions to our laws. It appalls me sometimes how far they have succeeded at that already. They have succeeded at making the people believe that “you can’t legislate morality.” A more nonsensical statement I’ve never heard in my life
Source: Ten Commandments rally in Lufkin, Texas Oct 1, 2003

We live under the tyranny of the federal judges

We live in the moral realm under the tyranny of the judges on the federal bench. They have destroyed our Constitution. They have trampled our rights. They have also violated another provision of the Constitution nobody wants to look at. It’s Article 4, Section 4, which says that the US shall guarantee to each of the states of this union a republican form of government. Republican means “of the people, by the people, for the people,” not “of the judges, for of the lawyers, by the power of the judiciary.
Source: Rally for the Ten Commandments, Hillsdale, Michigan Feb 7, 2004

Leaders must face racial bigotry, not ignore it

KEYES [to Bush]: Does leadership consist in going into Bob Jones University-where serious questions exist about racial & religious bigotry-and taking the applause, risking nothing because you refuse to raise the issues? Or does it consist of carrying a message of integrity about this country’s moral principles and saying, if you can’t deal with the demons of bigotry & cast them out, you’ll accomplish no good? Which is the better leader?

BUSH: I was asked, do I support their policy of no interracial dating. I said of course not. I talked about how the principles of conservatism can lift the spirit of America. How we can improve peoples lives, that’s what I talked about.

KEYES: In your speech, you said nothing about the and racial bigotry that had to be dealt with. On an if-asked basis, these questions are not enough. What I did was look folks in the eye and tell them. I’m willing to lose every vote over the issue of standing with integrity against religious and racial bigotry.

Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Our rights come from God, not from the Constitution

Keyes asked [a group of 5th grade students] where their rights came from.
“The Bill of Rights?” one youngster asked. No, said Keyes.
“Us?” No.
“The government?” No.
“Martin Luther King?” No, “but he understood where our rights came from,” Keyes said.
“The Constitution?” No.
Finally, a girl raised her hand, sat up straight, and said, “The rights come from God.” Keyes had his answer.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A27 Jan 28, 2000

Ten Commandments & prayer should be in schools

Q: Does posting the Ten Commandments in schools invalidate the religious expression of children who are not in the Judeo-Christian heritage? A: The Ten Commandments are etched into the walls of the Supreme Court. I find it rather hard to believe it could be inappropriate to put them on the walls of our schools. The problem we have [is] a phony doctrine pretending that the federal government, through the courts, has the right to dictate uniformity of religion or irreligion. It’s not true. Through the 14th Amendment some of these lawyers try to pretend that the judges can do what the amendment explicitly forbids the Congress from doing, dictating religious practices at the state and local level. This whole approach is wrong. All of this should be left up to the choice of parents in their schools. It’s part of the reason school choice is so important. So we not only have people in schools who pray, but schools in the hands of people who pray by their own choice. That’s the way we should go.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Conducting gov’t in Spanish assaults our linguistic unity

KEYES [to Bush]: [A Texas town] passed an ordinance saying that all business is to be conducted in the Spanish language. A lot of us look at that sort of thing as an assault on our linguistic unity that is dangerous to the future union of this country. What action do you plan to take to show the people that you stand for one nation, one language rather than a nation linguistically divided?

BUSH: No es la verdad.

KEYES: Es la verdad, se¤or.

BUSH: One, I expressed concern about it-I don’t want this town’s business being conducted in Spanish, it ought to be conducted in English. Secondly, I’ve talked to [Texas’] attorney general to make sure that this town was conforming to all the laws of Texas.
I’m for what’s called English Plus. English is the great language that provides freedom and opportunity. Plus we respect other people’s heritage in this country.

Source: (x-ref to Bush) GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

No separation of church & state; fight uniform irreligion

Q: What does the term separation of church and state mean to you? A: I don’t think that’s an important question, actually. I think the more important question would be: Is there any reference to separation of church and state in the Constitution? And the answer to that question is: No there is not. The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. [instead of] uniformity in terms of religious belief. Our courts are now trying to impose uniform irreligion and atheism and that is intolerable. And we, therefore, have to oppose it.

Q: Are you for or against the separation of church and state? A: You are trying to force me to speak in terms that are not relevant to American life. The Declaration of Independence states. [that] the source of our rights is the creator God. You can tell me, if you like, that that’s a religious conviction. I know that it is the American creed.. I won’t give up the Declaration.

Source: Republican Debate in Durham, NH Jan 6, 2000

Alan Keyes on Affirmative Action

We cannot cure a past injustice with another injustice

In the 1960s, the civil rights movement sought the assistance of government to enforce the fundamental principle that all men are created equal. But today’s civil rights groups have abandoned that principle in favor of preferential treatment for groups defined by race or sex. This is simply wrong. We cannot cure a past injustice with another injustice.
Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Preferential affirmative action patronizes blacks & women

Preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on the own. It does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that gives money and jobs to the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not.

I am opposed to quotas. I am against the idea that you should be deciding on the basis of race what positions people should have in the workplace.

Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Address Black community with solid Republican principles

Q: Please tell me and this audience why you chose to be here tonight and what you say to those who chose not to be here tonight.

A: I think it is a little unfair to assume that our absent colleagues didn’t show up tonight because they were sending a message of some negative kind to the Black community, for the very obvious reason that they didn’t show up at the Values Voters Debate, either. Do you know what these two debates do have in common though? I was included. I’ve been barred from the debate in Michigan, for reasons best known to the party there. And what do you want to make of that? The other guys will show up there. Now, that suggests that they may or may not be afraid of all Black people, but there seems to be at least one Black person they’re afraid of. And I think the reason--the reason that they have this fear is pretty evident. They don’t believe that it’s possible to address a significant portion of the Black community on the basis of solid Republican principles, and I do.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University Sep 27, 2007

Preferential affirmative action is patronizing

In the 1960’s, the civil rights movement sought the assistance of government to enforce the fundamental principle that all men are created equal. But today’s civil rights groups have abandoned that principle in favor of preferential treatment for groups defined by race or sex. This is simply wrong. We cannot cure injustice with another injustice.

Moreover, preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on their own. Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that secures money and jobs for the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not. It divides us as a people, and draws attention away from the moral and family breakdown that is the chief cause of the despair and misery in which too many of our fellow citizens struggle to live decently.

Source: Organizational website, RenewAmerica.us, “On The Issues” Aug 3, 2004

Preferential affirmative action is patronizing.

Preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on their own. Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country. It is merely another government patronage program that secures money and jobs for the few people who benefit from it, and breeds resentment in the many who do not. It divides us as a people.
Source: www.keyes2000.org/issues/affirmativeaction.html 1/6/99 Jan 6, 1999

Black heritage comes from survival in America, not Africa

Too many black Americans look to Africa to find a basis for their identity because they cannot find it in themselves to claim their true heritage with pride. They are ashamed of their slave ancestry, all the ordinary folk who simply lived as best they could under the yoke. They apparently haven’t yet realized that the survival of black people in America, through slavery, racist assaults, and economic deprivation, is one of the greatest sagas of the human spirit the world has ever seen.

When will we stop looking for glorious empires along the Niger or the Nile, and begin to truly appreciate the more lasting monument of values, endurance, and faith that black Americans built along the Potomac and the Mississippi? That moral legacy, not race or skin color or any other material thing, is the strong foundation of the black American identity. Isn’t it time we began to reclaim and build upon it?

Source: Our Character, Our Future, p. 41 May 2, 1996

Affirmative action turns back the clock

I read American sagas (of the west) and I do not see people who went in search of material things. I see people who wrote down that what they sought was an escape from an old world which dictated their conscience and established their merit based on who their parents.

That is one of the reasons I oppose this whole Affirmative Action business. We are not supposed to be judged based on what our ancestors did or suffered. We are supposed to be judged as individuals, based on what we are able to achieve.

And when you tell me that somebody’s skin color or gender is going to determine their prospects in this world, that is turning the clock back hundreds of years. Back to a time before this nation declared that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator; not by their ancestry, not by their skin color, not by their gender, not by Congress, not by the Constitution, and not by the laws.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.348 Aug 12, 1995

Alan Keyes on Gay Marriage

Wrong to treat sexual behavior like race

In terms of civil rights discrimination, it is wrong to treat sexual orientation like race, for race is a condition beyond the individual’s control. Sexual orientation, however, involves behavior, especially in response to passion.

If we equate sexual orientation and race, we are saying that sexual behavior is beyond the individual’s control and moral will. We cannot embrace such an understanding of civil rights without denying the human moral capacity.

Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Marriage exists for the sake of procreation

Marriage is the God-ordained covenant between one woman & one man that provides the essential societal support for families. As we look at attempts to change that definition, we need to be very, very clear that it’s not a question of being against individuals, per se. It’s a question of looking at traditional marriage and what it requires, and saying we cannot allow, in principle, an understanding of marriage that excludes procreation.

Because, that was God’s plan. Marriage exists for the sake o procreation, for the commitment made, man and woman, to God’s will as it is then exemplified in the child when the two become one flesh, and that is also a commitment of responsibility and self-sacrifice for the sake of respecting God’s will for the future.

That is the serious understanding of marriage. If we were to adopt a view that just says, “Well, sex is pleasure for pleasure’s sake,” and we can actually base marriage on that understanding of human sexuality, we would be lying to ourselves.

Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Massachusetts gay marriage required judges legislating

We find judges standing up to tell us that the legislatures must rewrite the laws so that homosexuals can get married--people who can’t procreate, and therefore couldn’t possibly satisfy, according to our Christian consciences and understanding, anything that looks like marriage, they must be allowed to marry.

The Massachusetts equivalent of the supreme court of the state decided that the marriage laws of the state were wrong, and that the state must allow people of the same sex to get married. Now, if you look at the decision [Goodridge vs. D.P.H.], they didn’t take it upon themselves to simply say, “That’s it. The laws must change.” You know why? Because they realized that somebody might stand up and say, “Excuse me, y’all are legislating, and you don’t have the legislative power.”

So, instead of doing it openly, they just said that the legislature had to rewrite the law. They then went on very carefully to note that their decision did not make any change in the law.

Source: Campaign website, www.alankeyes.com, “Issues” Oct 1, 2007

Defend the natural family against the gay lobby

Q: What do you intend to do to counteract the homosexual agenda?

A: I think that, first and foremost, we have to make sure that we defend the natural family, that we pass the amendment that will be required in order to make sure that the strategy of the gay lobby doesn’t result in the destruction of traditional marriage.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

We need a constitutional amendment to stop gay marriage

Q: Will you support a federal marriage amendment, and what else will you do to protect the institution of marriage?

A: First of all, I think it’s quite evident that we need a constitutional amendment, from what we see going on right now, with folks who have gotten themselves supposedly “married” as gay couples, going into other states demanding that these marriages be recognized using things like the Full Faith and Credit Clause to require that every state in the Union recognize the action that has been taken by this legislature--or in fact, in Massachusetts, arbitrarily by judges, and then by Mitt Romney, who refused to acknowledge what the court had actually said, which was not that you had to perform such marriages, but that the law should be revised. He is single handedly responsible for bringing them on.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Marriage can’t be understood apart from procreation

Q: Quoting you, “Where procreation is, in principle, impossible, marriage is irrelevant” and not needed. What about marriage between people well beyond their child-bearing age?

A: An individual who is impotent, or another who is infertile, does not change the definition of marriage in principle, because between a man and a woman in principle, procreation is always possible, and it is that possibility which gave rise to the institution of marriage in the first place as a matter of law. But when it is impossible in principle, as between two males or two females, it’s impossible in principle. If you say that that’s a marriage, you are saying marriage can be understood, in principle, apart from procreation. You have changed its definition in such a way as, in fact, to destroy the necessity for the institution, since the only reason it has existed in human societies and civilizations was to regulate, from a social point of view, the obligations and responsibilities attendant upon procreation.

Source: IL Senate Debate Oct 26, 2004

Gay sex is selfish hedonism

Q: You made a little bit of controversy speaking out about Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, calling her a selfish hedonist. Those were your words. Do you regret that?

A: Actually, that was a situation in which I described what’s involved in gay sexual relations, and described it quite objectively-sexual relations with no other objective than that the parties involved should derive pleasure from this use of the organs intended for sexual purposes. That is selfish, that is oriented towards oneself; hedonism, which is the pursuit of pleasure.

Q: REID: But even feeling that way, do you feel it was wrong to say it in this context?

A: I was then asked by the reporters, “Would that apply to Lynne Cheney’s daughter, as a lesbian?” And I said, insofar as she engages in that kind of sexual relation, of course it applies. It is, by definition, applied to all those people who are engaging in sexual relations of that kind.

Source: Interview on Larry King Show at GOP Convention Sep 1, 2004

Gay marriage destroys fundamental moral institutions

Issues like homosexual marriage are wedge issues that will wake up a lot of the Democratic base to the fact that they are part of a party that does not believe in their moral values, and that is seeking to destroy fundamental moral institutions to which they are committed. That includes a lot of people in the black and Hispanic community who have not been paying attention over the years to how far the Democrats have gone in abandoning the moral traditions of this country.
Source: Interview on Hannity & Colmes Jul 12, 2004

HIV workshop violates parents who think gay is immoral

Keyes blasted as immoral a Massachusetts education program that teaches tolerance for homosexuality. [But] Keyes declared that he does not harbor ill will toward gays and lesbians. “I am not standing here today because I hate anyone,” Keyes said. “I am standing here today because of the most fundamental love society depends on - the love of parents for their children.” Keyes went on to invoke the Constitution and his own Christian religious beliefs to condemn state-sponsored programs such as the Safe Schools [program, in which teachers] spoke graphically with students about a variety of sex-related issues.

Keyes warned the crowd, which interrupted him several times with loud applause, about how AIDS is sweeping Africa and could do so here -- if the state continues to interfere in what he called “the moral education of our children.”

Source: Christopher A. Szechenyi, Boston Globe Jul 25, 2000

Signed pledge to reinstitute ban on gays in military

KEYES [to McCain]: I have signed the following pledge: In the interest of national security and the morale of our armed forces, if elected president of the US I pledge to reinstitute the ban on homosexuals serving in our nation’s military. Would you join me, sir, in signing that pledge?

McCAIN: No, I will not. [I agree when] military leaders that you and I respect say that this policy is a good one. I will support the present policy.

Source: Republican Debate in West Columbia, SC Jan 7, 2000

Oppose gay agenda in military & marriage laws

It’s about time we all faced up to the truth. If we accept the radical homosexual agenda, be it in the military or in marriage or in other areas of our lives, we are utterly destroying the concept of family. We must oppose it in the military. We must oppose it in marriage. We must oppose it if the fundamental institution of our civilization is to survive. Those unwilling to face that fact and playing games with this issue are doing so irresponsibly at the price of America’s moral foundations.
Source: Republican Debate in Durham, NH Jan 6, 2000

Warns that Supreme Court has advanced gay marriage agenda

The Supreme Court threw out California’s two-tier welfare system, as encroaching on the right of poor people to travel. [This ruling broadens] the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the 14th Amendment. [Pro-gays] will use it to invalidate efforts at the state level to reject the evil of homosexual marriage. The scheme is to get homosexual marriage accepted in one state, to move couples “married” into all the other states, and then go to court to recognize the marriages -- to demand equal privileges.
Source: WorldNetDaily “Constitutional immunity” May 21, 1999

“Hate crime” laws will be used to punish anti-gay opinions

The whole push with respect to hate crimes legislation is an effort to create a body of law that allows the government to coerce opinions, and to punish people because of their opinions. In this particular case, the opinion that is going to be punished is the opinion that homosexuality is immoral and against the laws of God. That opinion is now going to become a crime. And this whole push with respect to hate crimes is an effort to establish that agenda.
Source: WorldNetDaily “The trouble with ‘hate crimes’” Oct 16, 1998

Gay rights aren’t like racial rights, because it’s behavior

People tell us that for purposes of discrimination, sexual orientation--or, more accurately, sexual behavior--must be treated like race. Is that at all legitimate? When I got up this morning I was a black guy. When I go to bed tonight, I will still be a black guy. If we are going to say that sexual orientation is to be treated like race, then we’re saying that sexual orientation--read, behavior--is like race, a condition beyond the individual’s control.

If we accept this kind of reasoning, why should we expect to draw the line at sexual passion? If we’re going to have special legal protections for homosexuals, shouldn’t everybody else’s uncontrollable sexual orientations be protected? Shouldn’t adulterers, pedophiles, rapists, and other sorts of sexual aberrants be eligible for the same benefits? If we were to accept this convoluted logic we would be left with the concept of a human person which accepts strict external regimentation: we are basically people out of control.

Source: Our Character, Our Future, p. 18-9 May 2, 1996

Other candidates on Civil Rights: Alan Keyes on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Dec 07, 2008