CIVIL RIGHTS: Whether you're a Democrat or an old-school Republican, you probably feel people should be treated fairly. Here's how the candidates stack up on civil rights issues. Women's civil rights issues are addressed elsewhere on the Women's Issues page, along with reproductive health and other issues.
- He has NO MENTION of "civil rights," "human rights," or "women's rights" on his list of priorities.
- He is a member of the "Values Action Team," which coordinates legislation with the religious right.
- He says on his "Family Values" page, "I will work in defense of parental rights, religious liberty, and the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. "Family Values" is code for anti-LGBT and anti-abortion, His marriage definition means he opposes letting gay and lesbian Americans marry and have the same benefits (tax, financial, employment-related, medical decision making, etc.) as straight people. His "religious liberty" position means he opposes the right of LGBT people to access housing, service in places of business, and treatment at medical facilities.
- sponsored HR 984 (2018), which recognized the Chickahominy, Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond tribes.
- cosponsored HJR 47 (2009) to amend the US Constitution to prohibit flag desecration (May 2009). Note: The First Amendment currently protects this right as free speech.
- OPPOSED the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HR 1913, 2009, a.k.a. Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act), which protects Americans from hate crimes based on their actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
- OPPOSED HR 11 (2013), which reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, protecting women against domestic violence and abuse. The major sticking point for House conservatives was the protection of lesbian, Native American, and undocumented immigrant women.
- cosponsored and voted for HB 89 (2008) and later cosponsored HJR 45 (2011/2012), which would have amended the US Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, prohibited any state from constitutionally recognizing same sex marriage. It would have further prohibited the legal recognition of civil unions (which confer most of the legal, economic, and medical decision making benefits of marriage, without being being "defined" as marriage in a traditional sense or recognized by religious institutions as such)
Edwin Santana says, "I believe strongly in the power of inclusivity. No one should be marginalized, discriminated against, or oppressed because of how they identify or who they love." He believes in:
- defending the law of the land that allows all Americans to marry who they choose
- protecting the rights of transgender Americans to serve in our nation’s military
- rejecting any kind of discrimination or mistreatment of the LGBTQ community in our schools, businesses and communities
- recruit input from the LGBTQ community regarding any policy that would impact them
John Suddarth says, "Crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community are hate crimes, plain and simple. Now more than ever is the time to stand with our fellow human beings and say no to hatred, bigotry, and violence. I am proud to consider myself an ally to the LGBT community and will do all that I can in Congress to be worthy of the title." Also, equal rights for women is the top-listed issue on his issues page. We summarize his women's rights positions on our Women's Issues page.
Vangie Williams says:
"Whether it is LGBTQ rights, civil rights, voting rights, gender equality or religious freedom, the idea that at this point in our nation’s history we are fighting for the equality of ANY group is unfathomable to me. It’s time to once-and-for-all take out the legislative sledge hammer and chisel the concept of equality into the ultimate guiding document of our nation: the United States Constitution. I support a new “Universal Equal Rights Amendment” that would make clear that any distinction that can be used to divide us can no longer be valid for the purposes of treatment different than others around us. We have nickel and dimed this issue long enough. It’s time to codify the concept of absolute equality in the constitutional soul of our nation." She also calls for stricter punishment for anti-LGBT hate crimes and equal pay for LGBT workers.