Claire McCaskill on Civil Rights
Democratic Sr Senator; previously state Auditor
McCaskill has long threaded a needle on gay marriage. In 2004, she said she opposed gay marriage while also opposing a state constitutional amendment to ban it, arguing a provision in state law was sufficient.
McCaskill cited her experiences with gay friends and family as the cause of her conversion: "As many of my gay and lesbian friends embrace long term committed relationships, I find myself unable to look them in the eye without honestly confronting this uncomfortable inequality," she wrote. "Supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is simply the right thing to do for our country, a country founded on the principals of liberty and equality."
The I-Team checked salary numbers. Over his 12 years in Congress, Akin paid men an average of $15,872 per quarter. Women on average made $12,152 per quarter. That is a difference of $3,720, or 31%--even bigger difference than McCaskill's campaign came up with. So on this claim, we say: true.
We did take a look at McCaskill's Senate staff salaries. We found she pays women an average of $24,405 per 6-month period. Men are paid an average of $23,966. That's a difference of $439, or 2%.
The I-Team asked Akin's office to weigh in on the discrepancies. His spokesman says there's no policy dictating a difference in pay between men and women on the staff. He also says the congressman's chief of staff is a woman who was hired as a front desk employee and promoted. The Akin camp also says right now, its female staff makes 14% more than the men.
Akin did not respond directly to McCaskill's assertion, but has said he believes pay should be left to the discretion of employers. Akin said McCaskill must share the blame for the slumping economy and growing national debt.
Sen. Claire McCaskill claimed in 2004 that a state constitutional amendment was unnecessary, citing a existing state law that prohibited gay marriage and arguing that a judge would never overturn it. McCaskill: "We had a very strong law on the books concerning gay marriage. I just didn't think it was an appropriate thing to put into our Constitution. There was no danger of this being overturned by a judge in this state." (Springfield Debate, 10/22/04)
"Today's Iowa ruling clearly demonstrates that a simple state statute is not enough to protect the institution of marriage," said a GOP spokesperson.
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.
A resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.
Recognizes the historical significance to the nation, and supports the continued celebration, of Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved African Americans were free). Declares the sense of Congress that:
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."
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).
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