Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.
The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Proponents of the Resolution say:
Fifty State legislatures have called on us to pass this amendment. This amendment simply says that "Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."
In other words, in passing this amendment, we would give to
Congress the power that the Supreme Court took away in 1989.
48 States had anti-desecration measures on the books before 1989. It was then that five unelected judges told those 48 sovereign entities that they were wrong.
Opponents of the Resolution say:
I am deeply offended when people burn or otherwise abuse this precious national symbol.
I also believe that the values and beliefs that the American flag represents are more important than the cloth from which this symbol was created.
Prominent among these beliefs are the right to voice views that are unpopular, and the right to protest.
I oppose this amendment not because I condone desecration of our flag, but because I celebrate the values our flag represents. Flag burning is despicable. However, the issue is whether we should amend our great charter document, the Constitution, to proscribe it.
Is this a problem needing such strong medicine? Are we facing an epidemic of flag burnings?
Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Proponents of the motion say:
If Members of the Senate vote as their States have voted on this amendment, the vote today will be 90 to 10 in favor of a constitutional amendment.
Marriage is a foundational institution. It is under attack by the courts. It needs to be defended by defining it as the union of a man and a woman as 45 of our 50 States have done.
The amendment is about how we are going to raise the next generation.
It is not an issue that the courts should resolve. Those of us who support this amendment are doing so in an effort to let the people decide.
Opponents of the motion say:
This proposal pits Americans against one another. It appeals to people's worst instincts and prejudices.
Supporters rail against activist judges. But if this vaguely worded amendment ever passes, it will result in substantial litigation. What are the legal incidents of marriage? Is a civil union a marriage?
Married heterosexual couples are wondering, how, exactly, the prospect of gay marriages threatens the health of their marriages.
This amendment would make a minority of Americans permanent second-class citizens of this country. It would prevent States, many of which are grappling with the definition of marriage, from deciding that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. And it would write discrimination into a document that has served as a historic guarantee of individual freedom.
Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.
Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
Voted YES on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.
Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.
This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture;
; vote number 1997-275
on Oct 23, 1997
Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): Vote to prohibit marriage between members of the same sex in federal law, and provide that no state is required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Define 'marriage' as 'between one man and one woman.'
Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.
Vote to disallow any funds in the Legislative Appropriations bill from being used to award, require, or encourage any Federal contract, if the contract is being awarded on the basis of the race, color, national origin, or gender of the contractor.
Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001
Rated 40% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record.
Bond scores 40% by the ACLU on civil rights issues
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve protections and guarantees America’s original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights:
Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.
Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.
Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of society’s most vulnerable members are denied, everybody’s rights are imperiled.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Rated 11% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.
Bond scores 11% by the HRC on gay rights
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:
0% - 20%: opposes gay rights (approx. 207 members)
20% - 70%: mixed record on gay rights (approx. 84 members)
70%-100%: supports gay rights (approx. 177 members)
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.
About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country's civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels.
From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.