Tom Carper on Civil Rights
Democratic Sr Senator (DE)
Let state legislatures decide who can get married
Carper said it is up to the states' legislatures to decide who can get married in their state.
Pires criticized Carper for speaking in "double-talk" while answering "I support gay marriage. Gay people are equal."
Source: Newark Post on 2012 Delaware Senate debate
, Oct 19, 2012
Repeal DOMA; it's unconstitutional
Carper said he agrees with recent courts' ruling that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996 giving states the grounds to bar same-sex couples from getting married, is unconstitutional. "Would
I vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act? I would. And when you've got four of five courts saying something is unconstitutional, I think we should fix it," Carper said.
Source: Newark Post on 2012 Delaware Senate debate
, Oct 19, 2012
Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act
Wade called same-sex marriage a "fringe issue" and a distraction to real issues of concern to voters. "They worry about jobs, their homes, this country and the future of their children and grandchildren," he said.
Pires unequivocally supported
legalization of same-sex marriage. Carper offered more tepid support but said he supports the repeal of a Bill Clinton-era law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Carper only recently reversed his position on the Defense of Marriage Act.
Source: Delmarva Daily Times on 2012 Del. Senate debate
, Oct 17, 2012
Favors requiring companies to hire more women & minorities
Carper said, Equality of opportunity and diversity have been - and continue to be - core values of my Administration. I would like to see additional minorities and women in the construction industry, especially more minority-owned construction
businesses participating in public projects. It is frustrating because in Delaware there are very few minority-owned construction companies.
Source: Press Release, “More Minorities on State Projects”, Dec. 8 1
, Sep 19, 2000
Supports “Sexual orientation protected by civil rights laws”
Governor Thomas R. Carper today signed a measure to enhance Delaware law by making it a hate crime to victimize a person simply because of the victim’s sexual orientation.
According to Carper, “My Administration has been committed to reducing crime
statewide, and this is an appropriate and overdue extension of the original hate crime legislation I signed several years ago. We should protect our residents and visitors from being victimized simply because of their sexual orientation.
Source: Press Release, “SIGNS HATE CRIME BILL”, July 12, 1997
, Sep 19, 2000
Voted YES on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :
- "culturally specific services" to mean community-based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
- "personally identifying information" with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
- "underserved populations" as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity; and
- "youth" to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.
Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic):
House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference." The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values. The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest. These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation. Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.
Reference: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act;
Bill S. 47
; vote number 13-SV019
on Feb 12, 2013
Voted NO 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:
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment;
; vote number 2006-189
on Jun 27, 2006
- 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 NO 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.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment;
Bill S. J. Res. 1
; vote number 2006-163
on Jun 7, 2006
Voted YES on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.
Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
; vote number 2002-147
on Jun 11, 2002
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.
; vote number 2001-300
on Oct 11, 2001
Shift from group preferences to economic empowerment of all.
Carper adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Strengthen America’s Common Civic Culture
The more ethnically and culturally diverse America becomes, the harder we must all work to affirm our common civic culture -- the values and democratic institutions we share and that define our national identity as Americans. This means we should resist an “identity politics” that confers rights and entitlements on groups and instead affirm our common rights and responsibilities as citizens. Multiethnic democracy requires fighting discrimination against marginalized groups; empowering the disadvantaged to join the economic, political, and cultural mainstream; and respecting diversity while insisting that what we have in common as Americans is more important than how we differ. One way to encourage an ethic of citizenship and mutual obligation is to promote voluntary national service.
If expanded to become available to everyone who wants to participate, national service can help turn the strong impulse toward volunteerism among our young people into a major resource in addressing our social problems. It will also help revive a sense of patriotism and national unity at a time when military service is no longer the common experience of young Americans.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC6 on Aug 1, 2000
- Reduce discrimination based on race, gender, national background, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Shift the emphasis of affirmative action strategies from group preferences to economic empowerment of all disadvantaged citizens.
- Expand the AmeriCorps national service program so that everyone willing to serve can serve -- with 1 million participants enrolled by the end of the decade.
- Promote character education in all public schools.
Rated 40% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record.
Carper 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:
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.
- 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.
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.
Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002
Rated 67% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights.
Carper 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):
- 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)
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
Rated 79% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action.
Carper scores 79% by the NAACP on affirmative action
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:
About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):
- 0% - 33%: anti-affirmative-action stance (approx. 177 members)
- 34% - 84%: mixed record on affirmative-action (approx. 96 members)
- 85%-100%: pro-affirmative-action stance (approx. 190 members)
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.
Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006
Endorsed as "preferred" by The Feminist Majority indicating pro-women's rights.
Carper 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 workers’ 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 anti-gay discrimination in public schools.
Carper co-sponsored Student Non-Discrimination Act
- Prohibits public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally-assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates.
- Considers harassment to be a form of discrimination.
- Prohibits retaliation against anyone for opposing conduct made unlawful under this Act.
- Authorizes federal departments and agencies to enforce these prohibitions by cutting off the educational assistance of recipients found to be violating them.
- Allows an aggrieved individual to assert a violation of this Act in a judicial proceeding and recover reasonable attorney's fees should they prevail.
Opponent's argument against bill:(by Cato Institute reported on Fox News): A bill in Congress that would prohibit discrimination in public schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity could
stifle free speech and even lead to "homosexual indoctrination" in the nation's classrooms, critics say.
"The real danger is how this will be interpreted," said the associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute. "The definition of harassment could be broadly interpreted that anybody who expressed a totally legitimate opinion about homosexual behavior could be made illegal. That's a violation of those kids who want to express opposition to LGBT opinions or behavior. People have a legitimate reason to be concerned about this--not because they're 'haters' but because you're now trying to balance different rights."
Proponent's argument for bill: (Rep. Jared POLIS, House sponsor): "Hatred has no place in the classroom. Every student has the right to an education free from harassment and violence. This bill will protect the freedoms of our students and enshrine the values of equality and opportunity in the classroom."
Source: H.R.1652 / S.1088 13-S1088 on Jun 4, 2013
Investigate deportation of Japanese during WWII.
Carper signed Relocation of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act
A bill to establish a fact-finding Commission to extend the study of a prior Commission to investigate and determine circumstances surrounding the relocation, internment, and deportation to Axis countries of Latin Americans of Japanese descent during WWII.
- Establishes the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese descent.
- Directs the Commission to extend the study of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians to investigate U.S. relocation, internment, and (in some cases) deportation to Axis countries of Latin Americans of Japanese descent held in U.S. custody from December 1941 through February 1948; and recommend appropriate remedies.
Based on a preliminary study published in December 1982 by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Congress finds the following:
Source: S.69 & HR.42 2009-S69 on Jan 6, 2009
- During World War II, the United States expanded its internment program and national security investigations
to conduct the program and investigations in Latin America
- Approximately 2,300 men, women, and children of Japanese descent from 13 Latin American countries were held in the custody of the Department of State in internment camps operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1941 through 1948.
- Those men, women, and children either were arrested without a warrant, hearing, or indictment by local police, and sent to the United States for internment; or in some cases involving women and children, voluntarily entered internment camps to remain with their arrested husbands, fathers, and other male relatives.
- Passports held by individuals who were Latin Americans of Japanese descent were routinely confiscated before the individuals arrived in the United States.
- Despite their involuntary arrival, Latin American internees of Japanese descent were considered to be and treated as illegal entrants by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Decide Indian gaming rules at state level, not DOI.
Carper adopted a letter to Senate leaders from 4 Governors:
The nation’s Governors urge you to support the Indian gaming amendment sponsored by Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.). This amendment would ensure that the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior could not use federal funds to approve Class III gaming in the absence of a tribal-state compact, as required by law. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA) requires that tribes negotiate compacts with states as a condition for conducting Class III gaming in that state.
The National Governors’ Association is currently in discussions with Indian tribes and the U.S. Departments of Interior and Justice about a wide range of tribal-state issues, including Indian gaming. The nation’s Governors strongly believe that no statute or court decision provides the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior with the authority to intervene in disputes over compacts between Indian tribes and states about casino gambling on Indian lands. The secretary’s inherent authority includes a responsibility to protect the interests of Indian tribes, making it impossible for the secretary to avoid a conflict of interest or to exercise objective judgment in disputes between states and tribes. We respectfully urge Congress to adopt the Graham-Enzi amendment to ensure the integrity of IGRA.
Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 99-NGA26 on Jul 27, 1999
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