State of Texas Archives: on Civil Rights


MJ Hegar: Celebrated LGBT job protection decision as huge victory

In a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a ruling that protects LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace due to their sexual orientation. MJ Hegar, a Democratic candidate for Texas' U.S. Senate seat, described the ruling as a "huge victory."

"Today I'm celebrating with LGBTQ+ friends, neighbors, and loved ones," she wrote in a tweet.

Source: WFAA TV-8 ABC on 2020 Texas Senate race Jun 15, 2020

Sema Hernandez: End discrimination for sexual orientation & gender identity

There is still much work to be done in regard to protecting Women's Rights and LGBTQ Rights. When elected, I will relentlessly press for legislation that prevents discrimination against individuals due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We also must increase efforts at the federal level and state level to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Sema Hernandez: End the exploitation of Native Americans

Native Americans have suffered for over two centuries under U.S. government rule. Private corporations prey on the hardship of Native American communities. Representing our indigenous brother and sisters to ensure that their voices are heard in the Senate. We must respect all treaties and Native American rights to their land. We must end the exploitation of Native Americans by corporations and work to preserve generations of culture and identity.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Defend LGBTQ+ Rights, supports protective laws

Cristina will ensure that full equality for everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is enshrined into federal law by supporting the Equality Act, which would prevent discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which will make it illegal for anyone receiving Federal assistance to discriminate against LGBTQ children and families when placing children for adoption and foster care, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which bans conversion therapy and the Do No Harm Act, which prohibits the use of personal religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Combat White Supremacy and hate crimes

Cristina recognizes that we need to address the growing threat of violence driven by white supremacy in our communities. No Texan-- and no American-- should ever fear violence because of the color of their skin, the God they pray to, or any other identity they carry. As Senator, Cristina would direct funding to the Department of Justice to investigate hate crimes and treat acts of violence fueled by white supremacy as acts of domestic terrorism.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Pass Voting Rights Advancement Act, make elections a holiday

Some people in power are afraid of democracy. They want a government that serves their interests, not ours, which is why we need to shield our democracy against ongoing voter suppression and international efforts to interfere in our elections. When Cristina goes to Washington one of her top priorities will be to pass the Voting Rights Advancement Act and making election day a national federal holiday so everyone can participate easily and equally in our democracy.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Every person should have access to the voting booth

America was built upon the ideal of one person, one vote. Federally, we must take whatever steps necessary to ensure that every person has the opportunity and access to the voting booth.

Voter equity means strengthening automatic voter registration, making Election Day a national holiday, increasing the number of polling places, and reversing all of the discriminatory Voter ID laws.

Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Pass Equality Act; end trans-phobic policies

We must pass The Equality Act and unequivocally say that discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare, and access to public goods and services is illegal. Congress needs to pass legislation to end the exclusion of sexual and gender identity as a protected class under Title VII and Title IX. Congress must take action to immediately end the Trump Administration's blatant transphobic policies.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Real democracy a threat to people in power

In 2018, TzintzŁn Ramirez helped lead an initiative through the Texas Youth Power Alliance that registered one in five Texas voters in 2018. She said they saw a 500% increase in the youth vote, and a 250% increase in the Latino vote. "I know real democracy will be a threat to people in power," TzintzŁn Ramirez said. "We are going to get more young people, more people of color out to vote, more low income people, and that's how we build a democracy, an economy and a country for everyone."
Source: KXAN-TV NBC on 2020 Texas Senate race Nov 10, 2019

George P. Bush: Allow Muslims in leadership roles in state Republican Party

Shahid Shafi identifies as a Republican because of his firm belief in small government, lower taxes and secure borders. But a group of Tarrant County Republicans will vote on whether to remove Shafi as vice-chairman of the county party because he's Muslim. Those in favor of the motion to recall Shafi, a trauma surgeon and member of the Southlake City Council, have said he doesn't represent all Tarrant County Republicans. They've also said Islamic ideologies run counter to the U.S. Constitution--an assertion many Texas GOP officials have called bigoted and Shafi himself has vehemently denied.

Several prominent Texas Republicans have rallied behind Shafi leading up to Thursday's vote--a list that includes U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Shafi's supporters compared the attacks against the surgeon to rhetoric the Ku Klux Klan used in the early 20th century against Catholics and Jews running for political office.

Source: Texas Tribune on 2020 presidential hopefuls Jan 9, 2019

Ted Cruz: Allow Muslims in leadership roles in state Republican Party

Shahid Shafi identifies as a Republican because of his firm belief in small government, lower taxes and secure borders. But a group of Tarrant County Republicans will vote on whether to remove Shafi as vice-chairman of the county party because he's Muslim. Those in favor of the motion to recall Shafi, a trauma surgeon and member of the Southlake City Council, have said he doesn't represent all Tarrant County Republicans. They've also said Islamic ideologies run counter to the U.S. Constitution--an assertion many Texas GOP officials have called bigoted and Shafi himself has vehemently denied.

Several prominent Texas Republicans have rallied behind Shafi leading up to Thursday's vote--a list that includes U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Shafi's supporters compared the attacks against the surgeon to rhetoric the Ku Klux Klan used in the early 20th century against Catholics and Jews running for political office.

Source: Texas Tribune on 2020 presidential hopefuls Jan 9, 2019

Lupe Valdez: Pledges to fight for equality for gay community

Being gay is only part of who I am -- but it's a part that I am immensely proud of and a community that I am honored to represent. We have made much progress, but the fight for equality in the modern era is far from over. It is outrageous that in many parts of Texas, you can still be married on Saturday, evicted on Sunday, and fired on Monday, all because of who you love. As your governor, I will fight for equality for our community.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website LupeValdez.com Oct 9, 2018

Andrew White: No more political games; fight for all human rights

I'll promote human rights and equality for all Texans, no matter their color, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. America stands for freedom. For all.

We need to get our priorities straight. As governor, I'll stop these insane political games. Let's do right.

Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website AndrewWhite.com Feb 22, 2018

Jodey Arrington: Marriage is sacred union of one man and one woman

I Believe Marriage is a Sacred Union Between One Man and One Woman: In accordance with the Tenth Amendment, marriage policy is a matter "reserved to the States," not the Supreme Court, and one on which Texans have already spoken. On this issue and others, I will fight for States' rights.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website JodeyArrington.com Nov 8, 2016

Ben Carson: Everyone gets the same rights; nobody gets extra rights

I believe that the Constitution protects all of our rights. It gives people who believe in same-sex marriage the same rights as everybody else. What we have to remember is even though everybody has the same rights, nobody get extra rights. So nobody gets to redefine things for everybody else and then have them have to conform to it. That's unfair. It is the responsibility of Congress to correct what the Supreme Court has done.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

John Kasich: Pray for customers with whom you disagree, but sell to them

If you're in the business of selling things, if you're not going to sell to somebody you don't agree with, OK, today I'm not going to sell to somebody who's gay, and tomorrow maybe I won't sell to somebody who's divorced. If you're in the business of commerce, conduct commerce. That's my view. And if you don't agree with their lifestyle, say a prayer for them when they leave and hope they change their behavior.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Greg Abbott: Wife is first Hispanic First Lady in Texas history

To the members of the House and Senate, our co-authors in the next chapter of the greatest state in America, to the members of the judiciary, where I once served, and to my fellow Texans.

Let me start by recognizing someone who represents the richness of our heritage, our culture, the strength of our values and the promise that is Texas--the first Hispanic First Lady in Texas--my wife, Cecilia.

I'm proud to report that the state of Texas is strong and together we're about to make it stronger.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 Texas Legislature Feb 17, 2015

Emily Sanchez: Supports affirmative action

Q: Do you support or oppose affirmative action?

A: I support affirmative action.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 21, 2014

Emily Sanchez: Supports same-sex marriage

Q: Do you support or oppose same-sex marriage?

A: Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

David Alameel: Demand equal pay for equal work between men and women

Furthermore, in the United States Senate, Dr. Alameel will demand equal pay for equal work between men and women. In the 21st Century, there is no excuse for discrimination in the workplace or for U.S. Senators like John Cornyn who voted against the commonsense Lilly Ledbetter Act. David Alameel would be a proud vote in favor of this important legislation."
Source: 2014 Texas Senate campaign website May 15, 2014

David Alameel: Supports same-sex marriage

Alameel is flirting with a populist, crossover appeal, railing against the Wall Street interests. He sounds mainstream Democratic notes emphasizing education and Social Security, immigration reform, same-sex marriage and preserving abortion rights. But even as he carries the Democratic banner, he says "this race is going to be decided by people's deeds and the content of their character, rather than which party they belong to."
Source: Houston Chronicle on 2014 Texas Senate race May 4, 2014

David Dewhurst: Define marriage as a union between one man and one woman

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has worked with countless volunteers and activists across Texas in passing legislation that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Dewhurst will continue to fight for pro-family legislation in the U.S. Senate.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Mar 30, 2012

Ted Cruz: Opposes gay pride parades and opposes gay marriage

At least twice while serving as Dallas' mayor, Republican Tom Leppert marched in Dallas' gay pride parade. Opponent Ted Cruz has hammered Leppert for joining the marches. Cruz said, "When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that's a statement and it's not a statement I agree with."

Leppert says government shouldn't be involved in deciding whether gay partners have legal benefits given spouses which might include property inheritance or making medical decisions. Cruz says states should decide those benefits.

Gay rights has become an important test in this primary contest as hardcore Texas Republicans demand candidates take more socially conservatwive stands.

Source: Texas Public Radio coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Feb 23, 2012

Tom Leppert: Marched in gay pride parade, but opposes gay marriage

At least twice while serving as Dallas' mayor, Republican Tom Leppert marched in Dallas' gay pride parade. Opponent Ted Cruz has hammered Leppert for joining the marches which prompted a question to Cruz that he sidestepped during Wednesday's debate.

Moderator: "Are you saying Mayor Leppert is in favor of gay marriage?"

Cruz: "What I am saying is that when a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that's a statement and it's not a statement I agree with."

Former Mayor Leppert has complained that Cruz has distorted his position on gays and Leppert wanted to clear up misconceptions for the conservative voters who were listening.

Leppert: "The mayor is against gay marriage. I believe marriage should be defined as one man and one woman. But I had the responsibility to represent everybody but everybody understood where my faith was. I will tell my role as a Christian is to reach out and touch everybody."

Source: Texas Public Radio coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Feb 23, 2012

Randy Weber: No affirmative action; no "gender identity"

Q: Do you support the state's use of affirmative action?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Texas' anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Texas' anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Source: Texas Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Jon Roland: Allow same-sex couples to marry

Q: Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman?

A: No. Law should only recognize domestic partnerships, leaving “marriage” to religious organizations.“

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Jon Roland: Discontinue affirmative action programs

Q: Should the federal government consider race and gender in government contracting decisions?

A: No.

Q: Should the federal government continue affirmative action programs?

A: No.

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Rick Noriega: Government should adopt domestic partner benefit policies

Q: Do you favor the extension of all job-related benefits that are granted to traditional couples to and same-sex couples?

A: Denying benefits such as bereavement, health insurance, family leave and similar benefits is the epitome of discrimination and should be outlawed in all workplaces. If it was bad for business, you wouldn’t have the overwhelming number of Fortune 500 companies adopting domestic partner benefit policies. Government should lead on this basic fairness and equality issue.

Source: Democracy for Texas Questionnaire Response Mar 1, 2008

Barack Obama: Hate crimes related to the immigration issue is unacceptable

Because immigration reform was used as a political football instead of a way of solving a problem, nothing happened. It is absolutely critical that we tone down the rhetoric when it comes to immigration, because there has been an undertone that has been ugly. Oftentimes, it has been directed at the Hispanic community. We have seen hate crimes skyrocket in the wake of the immigration debate, & that is unacceptable. We are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and we can reconcile those two things.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Joaquin Castro: Supports affirmative action for all state decisions

Q: Affirmative Action: Should race, ethnicity or gender be taken into account in state agencies' decisions on public employment?

A: Yes.

Q: State college and university admissions?

A: Yes.

Q: State contracting?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

Alan Keyes: 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

Paul Sadler: No same-sex marriage; no hate crime definition for gays

Q: Do you believe that the Texas government should include sexual orientation in Texas' anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

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

A: No.

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

Paul Sadler: No affirmative action in state government decisions

Q: On affirmative action, should state government take race and sex into account college and university admissions?

A: No.

Q: In public employment?

A: No.

Q: In state contracting?

A: No.

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

George W. Bush: Reject quotas, double standards & “group thought”

We must say to each and every person, we want you to succeed. We must actively affirm access to the American dream. We must reject the politics of those who want to lump people into groups, those who insist on quotas or double standards. Quotas balkanize America. Group thought provides a convenient excuse for bigotry, a convenient excuse for failure.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

George W. Bush: Celebrate diversity but don’t put people into boxes

Our diversity gives Texas new life, new energy, new blood and we should not fear it but welcome it. No debemos temerla sino recibirla con los brazos abiertos. We should be proud of our various heritages; we should celebrate them in festivals; we should enjoy their traditions in our homes. This genuine appreciation of heritage stands in stark contrast to those who would divide people into groups for political purposes. There’s a trend in this country to put people into boxes.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Civil Rights:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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