Ron Paul on Civil Rights
Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President
PAUL: That is sort of like asking the question if the states wante to legalize slavery or something like that. No state is going to do that. I think marriage should be between a single man and a single woman. And the federal government shouldn't be involved. I want less government involvement. I don't want the federal government having a marriage police. I want the states to deal with it. Really, why do we have to have a license to get married? Why don't we just go to the church? What other individuals do, why can't we permit them to do whatever they call it that is their problem not mine? Just so nobody else forces their definition of marriage on you. That is what we have to prevent. So I would say less government would be better if you have to have regulations let the state governments do it.
BACHMANN: Well, I do believe in the 10th Amendment and I do believe in self-determination for the states. I also believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't see that it's the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state laws.
PAUL: The federal government shouldn't be involved. I wouldn't support an amendment. But let me suggest, get the government out of it. Why doesn't it go to the church? And why doesn't it to go to the individuals? I don't think government should give us a license to get married. It should be in the church.
GINGRICH: I helped author the Defense of Marriage Act which the Obama administration should be frankly protecting in court. I think if that fails, at that point, you have no choice except a constitutional amendment.
A: As a matter of fact, I spent a whole chapter in my new book on marriage. And I think it's very important seeing that I've been married for 54 years now. I think the government should just be out of it. I think it should be done by the church as a private contract and we shouldn't have this argument of who's married and who isn't married. I have my standards but I shouldn't impose my standards on others. Others have their standards and they have no right to impose their marriage standards on me. But if we want to have something to say about marriage, it should be at the state level and not at the federal level. Just get the government out of it. It's one area where it's totally unnecessary, and they've caused more trouble than necessary.
A: Well, we should do this at a federal level, itíd be OK for the military. Just think of how the government caused all the segregation in the military until after World War II.
Q: You would vote against the Civil Rights Act, if it was today?
A: If it were written the same way, where the federal governmentís taken over property--it has nothing to do with race relations. It has nothing to do with racism, it has to do with the Constitution and private property rights.
A: Well, one thing is, if we want to prevent more negative tone, we wonít be working on a tamper-proof ID. Because how can you have a tamper-proof ID for illegals or immigrants, without doing it to everybody else? Thatís going to lead to a national ID card, which I absolutely oppose.
A: If you believe in federalism, itís better that we allow these things to be left to the state. My personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony. And it should be dealt with religiously. The [government] really shouldnít be involved. The government got involved mostly for health reasons 100 years or so ago. But this should be a religious matter. All voluntary associations, whether theyíre economic or social, should be protected by the law. But to amend the Constitution is totally unnecessary to define something thatís already in the dictionary. We do know what marriage is about. We donít need a new definition or argue over a definition and have an Amendment. To me, it just seems so unnecessary to do that. Thereís no need for the federal government to be involved in this.
This violates the principle on the importance of the individual, and confuses us about the importance of individual rights, which is the purpose of the Constitution. Defend our individual rights.
A: I think the best thing the president can do is set a good example, and I would start with having been married 50 years, and proud of it. I believe, also, that I do not see any need for another constitutional amendment. I think we have fallen into a trap that we have to redefine marriage. Weíre on the defensive, defining marriage. Why donít you just tell them to look it up in the dictionary, to find out what a marriage says? For federal legal purposes, the Defense of Marriage Act is proper. It takes care of all the problems. If you have to have rules and regulations, put it at the state level, like the Constitution says. But you know, marriage only came about and getting licenses only came about in recent history for health reasons. Marriage is a church function. Itís not a state function. I donít think you need a license to get married.
A: If you believe in liberty, you are a libertarian. The best libertarians weíve ever had in this country were our Founding Fathers. They believed in civil liberties, economic liberties, and they believed in a non-intervention foreign policy.
But, the inference here about marriage, and prostitution, and drugs--they never addressed it. Thereís no constitutional authority, to deal with those problems. But thereís no prohibitions for the states to do it.
If youíre willing to use the strong arm of government to regulate things that are negative that you donít like and you find abhorrent, you set the stage for regulating your religion, your schools, and everything else.
The First Amendment wasnít written to protect non-controversial speech. It was written to protect controversial speech, so we donít lose our right to go to church and run our schools. This is key!
A: I think the current policy is a decent policy. And the problem that we have with dealing with this subject is we see people as groups, as they belong to certain groups and that they derive their rights as belonging to groups. We donít get our rights because weíre gays or women or minorities. We get our rights from our creator as individuals. So every individual should be treated the same way. So if there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. But if thereís heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with. So it isnít the issue of homosexuality, itís the concept and the understanding of individual rights. If we understood that, we would not be dealing with this very important problem
The concept of equal pay for equal work is not only an impossible task, it can only be accomplished with the total rejection of the idea of the voluntary contract. The idea that a businessman must hire anyone and is prevented from firing anyone for any reason he chooses, and in the name of rights, is a clear indication that the basic concept of a free society has been lost.
In the name of equal rights, Montana has forced insurance companies to charge women additional premiums to make the fees equal to those charged men, regardless of the economic realities that allow for a lower premium.
Todayís current terminology describing rights reflects this sad change. It is commonplace for politicians and those desiring special privileges to refer to: black rights, Hispanic rights, handicap rights, employee rights, student rights, minority rights, womenís rights, gay rights, childrenís rights, student rights, Asian-American rights, Jewish rights, AIDS victimsí rights, poverty rights, homeless rights, etc.
Unless all the terms are dropped & we recognize that only an individual has rights, the solution to the mess in which we find ourselves will not be found. The longer we lack of definition of rights, the worse the economic and social problems will be.
A: If you want to change people, you change them through persuasion, through family values and church values, but you canít do it through legislation because force doesnít work. But if homosexual groups want to enforce their way on us, thereís no right to do that, either. At the same time, you should eradicate all these hate laws. They indicate that some people would receive a different penalty on others.
Proponents support voting YES because:
The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage, marriage between a man and a woman. The people have a right to know whether their elected Representatives agree with them about protecting traditional marriage.
Every child deserves both a father and a mother. Studies demonstrate the utmost importance of the presence of a child's biological parents in a child's happiness, health and future achievements. If we chip away at the institution which binds these parents and the family together, the institution of marriage, you begin to chip away at the future success of that child.
Opponents support voting NO because:
This amendment does not belong in our Constitution. It is unworthy of our great Nation. We have amended the Constitution only 27 times. Constitutional amendments have always been used to enhance and expand the rights of citizens, not to restrict them. Now we are being asked to amend the Constitution again, to single out a single group and to say to them for all time, you cannot even attempt to win the right to marry.
From what precisely would this amendment protect marriage? From divorce? From adultery? No. Evidently, the threat to marriage is the fact that there are millions of people in this country who very much believe in marriage, who very much want to marry but who are not permitted to marry. I believe firmly that in the not-too-distant future people will look back on these debates with the incredulity with which we now view the segregationist debates of years past.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: It is clear that this bill's many cosponsors do not agree on every issue. The same can be said of the bill's noncongressional supporters, which include groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The sphere of privacy, which Justice Brandeis eloquently described as the ''right to be let alone,'' is not only rapidly diminishing, it is increasingly penetrable. The Federal Agency Protection of Privacy Act takes the first--necessary--step toward protecting the privacy of information collected by the federal government, by requiring that rules noticed for public comment by federal agencies be accompanied by an assessment of the rule's impact on personal privacy interests, including the extent to which the proposed rule provides notice of the collection of personally identifiable information, what information will be obtained, and how this informational will be collected, protected, maintained, used and disclosed.
I want to emphasize H.R. 4561 will not unduly burden regulators nor will it hinder law enforcement. This bill will apply the best antiseptic--sunshine--to the federal rulemaking process by securing the public's right to know about how rules will affect their personal privacy.
EXCERPTS FROM BILL:
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Passed House on a voice vote; sent to Senate on Oct. 8, 2002; never called to vote in Senate.
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.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:
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.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:
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.
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