Cory Booker on Civil Rights
Mayor of Newark; N.J. Senator; 2020 presidential contender (withdrawn)
BOOKER: I will change the Trump administration's guidance back to what the Obama administration's guidance was... that schools should allow people to use bathrooms that conform with their gender identity. We must use our Department of Justice and the Department of Education's civil rights division to go after schools that are denying people equal rights and equal protections.
BOOKER: I have spent my life working on LGBTQ issues. I am one of the lead original sponsors of the Equality Act. All of us swear an oath that we'll be a nation of liberty and justice for all. Those are aspirational words until every LGBTQ American has equal rights and I will get the Equality Act passed in our country.
BOOKER: Racism exists. And this is not just an issue that started yesterday. It's not just an issue that we hear a president that can't condemn white supremacy. We have systemic racism that is eroding our nation from health care to the criminal justice system. We have to come at this issue attacking systemic racism, having the courage to call it out, and having a plan to do something about it. If I am president of the United States, we will create an office in the White House to deal with the problem of white supremacy and hate crimes. And we will make sure that systemic racism is dealt with in substantive plans, from criminal justice reform to the disparities in health care to even one that we don't talk about enough, which is the racism that we see in environmental injustice in communities of color.
Harris's competitor, Sen. Cory Booker, was asked the same question in New Hampshire Sunday, but did not commit to renaming the holiday. "I'd like to talk more about why you think it's important on a federal level," Booker told voters. "My commitment to you and indigenous peoples is to tell the truth, to work to address the issues, and to find a way to have real recognition and healing."
"When I was a baby, my parents tried to move us into a neighborhood with great public schools, but Realtors wouldn't sell us a home because of the color of our skin," he said in his video.
"A group of white lawyers, who had watched the courage of civil rights activists, were inspired to help black families in their own community, including mine. And they changed the course of my entire life. Because in America, courage is contagious.
"My Dad told me, 'Boy, never forget where you came from, or how many people had to sacrifice to get you where you are.'?"
Our housing policy in this country, from the local level to the federal level, was exactly what the civil rights movement was fighting against: segregation, discrimination, the erecting of walls between people. We designed housing policy so as to obscure our ability to see each other, to prevent ourselves from having to connect with others and confront the truth about what they were enduring. We allowed injustice to grow strong and persist in a way that is utterly contrary to our country's core values, that insults our best conceptions of humanity.
When Booker reached the line to "speak now or forever hold your peace"--a man broke the silence. "It is unlawful in the eyes of God," he yelled, carrying a sign with bible script written on it. After the heckler had been removed from the room, Booker said, "Not hearing any substantive and worthy objections, I now will proceed with the vows."
For seven years as mayor of Newark, Booker has turned down requests to officiate weddings as a way of "protesting the painful reality that I could not marry all citizens equally. So I made a decision that I wasn't going to marry anybody until I could marry everybody."
Lonegan said "marriage is the greatest institution made by man" because "it's about the children." Asked whether he believes gay couples should have children, he quipped: "That would be a biological phenomenon." He then added: "I have mixed feelings about that."
Booker disagreed and said that as an African-American, he would "not be standing here right now if judges didn't say everyone in America is equal under the law."
"The ability to marry the person you love is one of the most fundamental liberties in America," he added.
(VIDEO) BOOKER: The truth of the matter is that the dream still demands that the moral conscience of our country still calls us, that hope still needs heroes. We need to understand that there is still work to do.
Q: What is the legacy of the "I Have a Dream" speech? There's only one other African American US Senator; one African American Governor; one African American president. Progress, but still uneven when it comes to elected office. Is that how Dr. King saw the dream playing out 50 years later?
BOOKER: Well, I think that these positions are important. But I think the matter in what drove the march, was not simply propelling people to elected office, it was dealing with the larger issues of inequality. Not only racial inequality, but frankly the challenge we faced then in our nations till now and the dramatic differences between rich and poor and the challenges we have and had then in America and we still have now with poverty.
Yet, while I was highly adroit at maintaining an air of acceptance, I was disgusted by gays.
I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, "What sinners I am amongst" or "How unnatural these people are."
[I embraced gay rights after a conversation with a gay counselor].
It was chilling to find that so much of the testimony was almost identical to stories my grandparents told me about growing up Black. People found it revolting to share a meal with them and often felt it to be their duty to beat them so that they would learn proper living.
In these efforts I have found another community with which I feel akin and from which I draw strength. The gay people with whom I am close are some of the strongest people I know--and their demands for justice are no less imperative than those of any other community.
Congressional Summary: Amends the Defense of Marriage Act to let states recognize same sex marriage. Defines "marriage" to provide that an individual shall be considered married if that individual's marriage is valid in the state or country where the marriage was entered into. Removes the definition of "spouse" (currently, a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife).
Wikipedia and GLAAD history: In United States v. Windsor (2013), the U.S. Supreme Court declared Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) struck down the act's provisions disallowing same-sex marriages to be performed under federal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court case did not challenge Section 2 of DOMA. Section 2 declares that all states have the right to deny recognition of the marriage of same sex couples that originated in states where they are legally recognized.
Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote NO: (3/20/2013): Americans respect marriage, not only as a crucial institution of civil society but the fundamental building block of all human civilization. This is why 41 states and the federal government affirm that marriage is between a man and a woman. The government isn't in the business of affirming our loves. Rather it leaves consenting adults free to live and love as they choose. And contrary to what some say, there is no ban on same-sex marriage. In all 50 states, two people of the same sex may choose to live together, and choose to join a religious community that blesses their relationship. What's at issue is whether the government will recognize such relationships as marriages--and compel others to recognize and affirm same-sex relationships as marriages.
Legislative outcome: Died in Committee (never came to a vote).
We write to you to express serious concerns about the removal of critical LGBT health and scientific information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website, and the removal of LGBT population-based data reports from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website. These actions reveal a pattern of censorship that fosters discrimination and undermines access to evidence-based health care resources that aid millions across the country.
Administration officials claim that this online information is integrated elsewhere, being updated, or temporarily down for maintenance. We have seen previous Administrations undermine LGBT health due to ideological pressure from conservative organizations by abruptly deleting online health information--similarly under the guise of site maintenance.
|Other candidates on Civil Rights:||Cory Booker on other issues:|
Senate races 2021-22:
AK: Incumbent Lisa Murkowski(R)
vs.Challenger Kelly Tshibaka(R)
vs.2020 candidate Al Gross(D)
AL: Incumbent Richard Shelby(R) vs.U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks(R) vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R) vs.Katie Britt(R) vs.Judge Jessica Taylor(R) vs.Brandaun Dean(D) vs.
AR: Incumbent John Boozman(R)
vs.Candidate Dan Whitfield(D)
AZ: Incumbent Mark Kelly(D)
vs.CEO Jim Lamon(R) vs.Blake Masters(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Brnovich(R) vs.Mick McGuire(R)
CA: Incumbent Alex Padilla(D)
vs.2018 Senate candidate James Bradley(R)
vs.State Rep. Jerome Horton(D)
CO: Incumbent Michael Bennet(D)
CT: Incumbent Richard Blumenthal(D)
vs.Challenger Joe Visconti(R)
vs.2018 & 2020 House candidate John Flynn(R)
FL: Incumbent Marco Rubio(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(D)
vs.U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson(D)
GA: Incumbent Raphael Warnock(D)
vs.Navy vet Latham Saddler(R)
HI: Incumbent Brian Schatz(D)
vs.Former State Rep. Cam Cavasso(R ?)
IA: Incumbent Chuck Grassley(R)
vs.State Sen. Jim Carlin(R)
vs.Former U.S. Rep IA-1 Abby Finkenauer(D)
ID: Incumbent Mike Crapo(R)
IL: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth(D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Adam Kinzinger(? R)
IN: Incumbent Todd Young(R)
vs.Challenger Haneefah Abdul-Khaaliq(D)
vs.Psychologist Valerie McCray(D)
KS: Incumbent Jerry Moran(R)
KY: Incumbent Rand Paul(R)
vs.State Rep Charles Booker(D)
LA: Incumbent John Kennedy(R)
MD: Incumbent Chris Van Hollen(D)
MO: Incumbent Roy Blunt(R)
vs.Eric Greitens(R) vs.Scott Sifton(D)
vs.Eric Schmitt(R) vs.Lucas Kunce(D)
vs.Mark McClosky(R) vs.Vicky Hartzler(R)
vs.Tim Shepard(D) vs.Billy Long(R)
NC: Incumbent Richard Burr(R,retiring)
vs.Ted Budd(R) vs.Pat McCrory(R)
vs.Cheri Beasley(D) vs.Rett Newton(D)
ND: Incumbent John Hoeven(R)
vs.Michael J. Steele(D)
NH: Incumbent Maggie Hassan(D)
vs.Chris Sununu(R ?)
NV: Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
NY: Incumbent Chuck Schumer(D)
OH: Incumbent Rob Portman(R,retiring)
Bernie Moreno(R) vs.Tim Ryan(D)
vs.Jane Timken(R) vs.Josh Mandel(R)
vs.JD Vance(R) vs.Mike Gibbons(R)
vs.Morgan Harper(D) vs.Matt Dolan(R)
OK: Incumbent James Lankford(R)
OR: Incumbent Ron Wyden(D)
vs.QAnon adherent Jo Rae Perkins(R)
PA: Incumbent Pat Toomey(R,retiring)
vs.Everett Stern(R) vs.Jeff Bartos(R)
vs.Val Arkoosh(D) vs.Carla Sands(R)
vs.John Fetterman(D) vs.Malcolm Kenyatta(D)
vs.Kathy Barnette(R) vs.Sharif Street(D)
vs.Conor Lamb(D) vs.Sean Parnell(R)
vs.Craig Snyder(R) vs.Mehmet Oz(R)
SC: Incumbent Tim Scott(R)
vs.State Rep. Krystle Matthews(D)
SD: Incumbent John Thune(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
UT: Incumbent Mike Lee(R) vs.Allen Glines(D)
vs.Austin Searle(D) vs.Evan McMullin(I)
VT: Incumbent Patrick Leahy(D)
vs.Scott Milne(? R)
WA: Incumbent Patty Murray(D)
vs.Challenger Tiffany Smiley(R)
WI: Incumbent Ron Johnson(R) vs.Tom Nelson(D)
vs.Sarah Godlewski(D) vs.Alex Lasry(D)
vs.Chris Larson(D) vs.Mandela Barnes(D)
Senate Votes (analysis)