Amy Klobuchar on Civil Rights

DFL Sr Senator (MN); Democratic presidential contender


Antitrust laws used effectively to stop discrimination

Traditionally, the antitrust laws helped fight discrimination. People may not commonly associate antitrust laws with anti-discrimination efforts, but they should. Antitrust laws were used effectively in the 1960s to stop discrimination in housing and employment. For example, the Sherman Act was used in the medical profession by stopping the abhorrent practice by Chicago area hospitals and medical organizations of barring black physicians from joining their staff and their ranks. In 1964, one commentator observes, "Reginald Johnson, secretary of the National Urban League, encouraged the use of antitrust laws to break up housing discrimination in the nation's cities. Antitrust actions taken by the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and other organizations helped force desegregation of neighborhoods and realty boards in cities including Trenton, St. Louis, Pittsburg, Akron, and New York City."
Source: Antitrust, by Amy Klobuchar, p.230-231 , Apr 27, 2021

Passing the ERA would be a nice thing to do

Q: What will you do for women pertaining to equality?

KLOBUCHAR: Passing the ERA would be a nice thing to do. I also think that economic issues for women and men are key. Getting an increase to the minimum wage would be really important for a lot of women workers. Getting child care would be so key for so many workers; making sure that we keep strong women's right to choose would be so good. There is so much we can do. But I think one of the amazing things about being the first woman president would be to basically have every little girl in America and really around the world think anything and everything is possible.

Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 S. C. primary , Feb 18, 2020

Make fighting hate crimes a priority

I go back to my days when I was the head county attorney in our biggest county. I took on hate crimes in a big way then. The first thing you do is you make sure you have an attorney general in place that is going to make this a priority. It's knowing how you enforce the laws. It's putting people in place that will do it. But it is also having the heart to actually make it a priority.
Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 S. C. primary , Feb 18, 2020

Name your favorite woman president--we're not done yet!

Q: You've said this of Mayor Buttigieg: "Of the women on the stage, do I think that we would be standing on that stage if we had the experience he had? No, I don't. Maybe we're held to a different standard." Senator, what did you mean by that?

KLOBUCHAR: I'm honored to be standing next to Pete. But what I said was true. Women are held to a higher standard. Otherwise, we could play a game called "name your favorite woman president," which we can't do, because it has all been men. And including all vice presidents being men. And I think any working woman out there, any woman that's at home knows exactly what I mean. We have to work harder, and that's a fact.

What matters is if you get things done. I'm the one that has passed over 100 bills. I am the one that has been able to win every red and purple congressional district as a lead on a ticket every time. I govern both with my head and my heart. And if you think a woman can't beat Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi does it every single day.

Source: November Democratic primary debate in Atlanta , Nov 20, 2019

Collect data on GLBT issues so we can persuade Congress

I put forward a bunch of legal things you can do in the first 100 days. On LGBTQ issues, you can start collecting the data that we want to collect so we understand the issues for the LGBTQ community. Right now, that data is not being collected. You can actually get that done without Congress.

You can, of course, stop this highly discriminatory and anti-patriotic policy of the Trump administration which bans trans people from serving in the military. You can do that yourself. You can do so many other things when it comes to changing the Department of Education policies and other discrimination policies.

And then I would pass the Equality Act in the first year. Those are high priorities for me. And you've got to do some by changing the dialogue in those first 100 days and some are the long term to get them done through Congress.

Source: CNN LGBT Town Hall 2020 , Oct 10, 2019

Throughout career, fighting hate crimes a priority

Q: Where does the LGBTQ community fall on your list of priorities?

KLOBUCHAR: In my first job as the DA in Minnesota's biggest county, I made hate crimes a major priority. I was invited to the White House because of that, to introduce President Clinton when he unveiled the Matthew Shepherd bill. When I got to the Senate, we actually passed that bill and got all of those other things passed that I mentioned and introduced. So for me, it's a major priority.

Source: CNN LGBT Town Hall 2020 , Oct 10, 2019

Ban conversion therapy; it makes no sense at all

Q: Will you support federal and state measures to forever ban so-called conversion therapy practices?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes. I think we know this makes no sense at all. We know this isn't the right thing to do. We've seen some of the bad practices, bad policies. It is role models. It is education. And it is making sure that we fight at every level, yes, at the federal level, but also the state and local levels.

Source: CNN LGBT Town Hall 2020 , Oct 10, 2019

Yes to federal law that allows third gender on documents

Q: I identify as non-binary. In California, I am able to change my gender to X. However, on the federal level, there is no such option. Will you recognize third gender markers on a federal level?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes. I will. There is a lot of work we need to do, all over the country, with driver's licenses. Not every state has some of the provisions that California has in place and just work on a state-by-state basis to make those changes.

Source: CNN LGBT Town Hall 2020 , Oct 10, 2019

We need environmental justice in this country

Q: How to help communities of colors with disasters?

KLOBUCHAR: We need environmental justice in this country. People who are economically disadvantaged, and people of color--many times they're the ones left behind. A lot of this is going to have to be investing in those communities. We have to make sure that money's going to help the workers who are transitioning to new jobs, #1. And #2, making sure that people are basically held harmless when they see any effects for people that can

Source: Climate Crisis Town Hall (CNN 2019 Democratic primary) , Sep 4, 2019

Gut punch from White House stopped election reform bill

When we were trying to move our bipartisan bill for backup paper ballots across this country to protect our democracy, I got gut-punched from the White House. They made calls. And they stopped it in its tracks, even though it would pass the Senate with overwhelming votes. They don't want this free election. You can tell by every move they make and everything the president says.
Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 interview series , Jun 30, 2019

Trump's failed to protect security of our elections

He's not acting like the leader to protect our national security, if he wanted to do that, his administration wouldn't be stopping the Secure Elections Act in its tracks. They made calls when my bill with Senator Lankford was headed to the floor. They wanted to stop that bill that would have required assistance from the federal government for election equipment [and] backup paper ballots. It would have required auditing. It would have required better information-sharing.
Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , May 5, 2019

Pushed for sexual harassment training in Senate

Klobuchar successfully pushed for legislation mandating sexual harassment training in the Senate.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 3, 2019

Government must address integrity of elections

We're going to see Attorney General Barr this next week, in front of the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve. And I'm going to be asking him what is he doing about Russia? Because to me, that's the key thing. We have an election coming up in 2020. It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican. You want to have a fair election.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 28, 2019

Paper ballots allow audits, ensure election integrity

I think the major reason that we need to see the [Mueller] report right now, in addition to getting all of the details, is to know what we should do to protect our elections and to protect our democracy going into 2020.We know that Russia tried to hack into our elections, they tried-- they did hack into campaigns -- that they spread propaganda. I want to pass my bill with Senator Lankford, a bipartisan bill, to get back up paper ballots. I want to make sure we have audits of our elections.
Source: ABC This Week 2019 interviews for 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 31, 2019

Reparations can mean investing in communities

I believe we have to invest in those communities that have been so hurt by racism. It doesn't have to be a direct pay for each person. But what we can do is, invest in those communities, acknowledge what's happened. And that means better education. That means looking at, for our whole economy: community college, one-year degrees, minimum wage, childcare, making sure that we have that shared dream of opportunity for all Americans.
Source: Meet the Press 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , Mar 17, 2019

Anti-gay discrimination is bad for business

When it comes to the LGBTQ community, Klobuchar has said discrimination is "bad for business." In a 2013 report, Klobuchar detailed how LGBTQ discrimination doesn't just hold moral implications, but can damage the economy as well.
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Feb 10, 2019

Hired 30% lawyers of color in County Prosecutor's office

Right from the start, we worked off one very important principle: our prosecutors were "ministers of justice," and their job was to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. We prioritized the prosecution of criminals with prior convictions, and we worked closely with the Innocence Project on DNA reviews and a new kind of eyewitness identification lineup that reduced false identifications. I debated other prosecutors, including New York's Queens DA, on the subject of videotaping interrogations. We videotaped interrogations in Minnesota, and I argued that it only protected defendants' rights, but it was better for law enforcement. I also advocated for a well-funded public defender's office as a way to guarantee more fairness in the justice system. Finally, I made sure that our office reflected the community at large. Approximately thirty percent of the new lawyers I hired were lawyers of color, a higher percentage than the country's minority population as a whole.
Source: The Senator Next Door, by Amy Klobuchar, p.167-8 , Aug 24, 2015

Supports civil unions and equal rights for gay partners

In Minnesota, we have a provision that defines marriage as between a man a woman, and thatís never been seriously challenged. I also believe we need to be fair to people and not discriminate against them. I donít have a problem with civil unions. When a partner is in the hospital, they should be able to be there. And to inherit money from them, and have the same kinds of rights.
Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview , Jan 26, 2006

No constitutional amendment defining marriage

We donít need a constitutional amendment on this, and we certainly donít need an amendment that would ban peopleís equal rights. There have been some unforeseen consequences when these sorts of laws have passed.
Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview , Jan 26, 2006

ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays.

Klobuchar 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

Prohibit sexual-identity discrimination at schools.

Klobuchar signed Student Non-Discrimination Act

Source: HR.998&S.555 11-S0555 on Mar 10, 2011

Endorsed by The Feminist Majority indicating a pro-women's rights stance.

Klobuchar is endorsed by by the Feminist Majority on women's rights

The Feminist Majority endorses candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. In addition to the stronger `endorsement,` the organization also determines `preferred` candidates in races where they do not endorse. Their mission statement:

`Our mission is to empower feminists, who are the majority, and to win equality for women at the decision-making tables of the state, nation, and the world. The Feminist Majority promotes non-discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, nation of origin, size or disability. The purpose of Feminist Majority is to promote equality for women and men, non-violence, reproductive health, peace, social justice and economic development and to enhance feminist participation in public policy. Feminist Majority supports workersí collective bargaining, pay equity, and end of sweatshops. We encourage programs directed at the preservation of the environment.`

Source: FeministMajority.org website 12-FemMaj on Oct 31, 2012

Enforce against wage discrimination based on gender.

Klobuchar co-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act

    Congress finds the following:
  1. Women have entered the workforce in record numbers over the past 50 years.
  2. Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.
  3. The existence of such pay disparities depresses the wages of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet; and undermines women`s retirement security.
  4. Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist decades after the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. These barriers have resulted because the Equal Pay Act has not worked as Congress originally intended.
  5. The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have important and unique responsibilities to help ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
  6. The Department of Labor is responsible for investigating and prosecuting equal pay violations, especially systemic violations, and in enforcing all of its mandates.
  7. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the primary enforcement agency for claims made under the Equal Pay Act.
  8. With a stronger commitment [to enforcement], increased information on wage data and more effective remedies, women will be better able to recognize and enforce their rights.
  9. Certain employers have already made great strides in eradicating unfair pay disparities in the workplace and their achievements should be recognized.
Source: S.84&H.R.377 13-S0084 on Jan 23, 2013

Enforce against anti-gay discrimination in public schools.

Klobuchar co-sponsored Student Non-Discrimination Act

Congressional Summary: