Kirsten Gillibrand on Civil Rights

Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)


They said repealing DADT was impossible, so I did it

If you want to get something done, tell me it's impossible. I was told you couldn't repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Members of my own party told me it wasn't convenient. We got it done. Ten years ago I was told you couldn't pass health care for our 9/11 first responders. Even when Congress turned its back on them, we kept fighting. Just last week we made the 9/11 health bill permanent.

Beating Donald Trump definitely not impossible. We need a nominee who doesn't know the meaning of impossible.

Source: July Democratic Primary debate (second night in Detroit) , Jul 31, 2019

Publicly funded elections returns power to the people

You heard from the Republicans that the reason why the Trump tax cut had to be passed is because they had to pay back their donors. They actually said those words. The corruption in Washington is real, and it is something that makes every one of the plans we've heard about over the last several months impossible. I have the most comprehensive approach to do it with publicly funded elections, so we restore the power of our democracy into the hands of the voters, not into the Koch brothers.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Let ex-cons vote; address racism in criminal justice

I support full restoration of felons' rights to vote. I also believe we have to take on institutional racism and particularly mass incarceration and take on institutional racism in criminal justice. It's one of the reasons why I'm for decriminalization & full legalization of marijuana, because of how it's applied in the criminal justice system as purely racist. I also support banning cash bail, because again, the way that is applied, it harms communities of color overwhelmingly and disproportionately.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 9, 2019

Supports commission investigating reparations for slavery

At Al Sharpton's National Action Network convention in New York City, most of the 2020 contenders affirmed their support for a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for African-Americans. "I firmly support congresswoman Jackson Lee's bill," Gillibrand said. "But we must not only study the problem," she said, promising to address a range of related issues if elected president, such as affordable housing, environmental justice and the practice of redlining.
Source: CNBC: 2019 National Action Network & 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 5, 2019

State of the Union: protest transgender military service ban

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address, but in who will be in the audience. Lawmakers, along with the president and first lady, pick guests every year to highlight or protest the policies of an administration.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Chris Pappas are bringing guests to protest the transgender military service ban. Gillibrand is bringing Lt. Commander Blake Dremann, the first openly transgender service member to be promoted, and Pappas is bringing Tavion Dignard, a transgender man and retired Navy veteran. "Denying transgender Americans their right to serve this country is a disgrace," Pappas said, "They deserve equal treatment by their government and the law."

Source: KUOW 94.9 FM (NPR) on 2019 State of the Union , Feb 5, 2019

End the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 16, 2019

Raise awareness of impediments for working women

Q: How does Off the Sidelines work in terms of helping arm women?

A: Well, right now it raises awareness, It actually [provides] the information about these structural problems in society that are impediments for women. A lot of young women, for example, don't know that on average a woman earns 77 cents on the dollar for the same work. They may not realize that women only sit on 16% of Fortune 500 boards and make up only 4% of CEOs. And I think once you create that awareness of the challenge ahead of us and amplify that with the call to action to get involved, what my website does is allow them to get where they need to go.

Q: I saw on your website that you said, "getting off the sidelines is a state of mind."

A: It's basically an understanding that women's voices matter.

Source: Make A Woman President?, by Marianne Schnall, p.295-296 , Nov 5, 2013

Off the Sidelines Project: engage more women in politics

Everywhere I look today, very promising campaigns and projects are emerging to help women attain positions of influence and leadership. I wrote an article about Hillary Clinton's Women in Public Service Project, whose ambitious goal is global, political, and civic leadership of at least 50% women by 2050. I also interviewed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about her Off the Sidelines Project, which is "a nationwide call to action to get more women engaged.to enter political life and be heard on political issues."
Source: Make A Woman President?, by Marianne Schnall, p. 3 , Nov 5, 2013

Supports gay marriage

The executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, a gay rights group, said that he spoke with Rep. Gillibrand and that she spoke in favor of same-sex marriage. "She spoke eloquently about the 1,324 rights that are denied to same-sex couples in New York," he said. This would make her the first US senator from New York to endorse gay marriage; Charles Schumer, the state's senior senator, opposes it.

An aide to Ms. Gillibrand confirmed that she supports gay marriage.

Source: Michael Powell and Raymond Hernandez, New York Times , Jan 23, 2009

ENDA: prohibit employment discrimination for gays.

Gillibrand signed H.R.3017&S.1584

Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees). Prohibits preferential treatment or quotas. Allows only disparate treatment claims. Prohibits related retaliation.

    Makes this Act inapplicable to:
  1. religious organizations; and
  2. the relationship between the United States and members of the Armed Forces.
Source: Employment Non-Discrimination Act 09-HR3017 on Jun 24, 2009

Opposes Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

Gillibrand opposes the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

Prohibit sexual-identity discrimination at schools.

Gillibrand signed Student Non-Discrimination Act

Source: HR.998&S.555 11-S0555 on Mar 10, 2011

Endorsed by The Feminist Majority indicating a pro-women's rights stance.

Gillibrand 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 wage discrimination based on gender.

Gillibrand co-sponsored Paycheck Fairness Act

    Congress finds the following:
  1. Women have entered the workforce in record numbers over the past 50 years.
  2. Despite the enactment of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, many women continue to earn significantly lower pay than men for equal work. These pay disparities exist in both the private and governmental sectors. In many instances, the pay disparities can only be due to continued intentional discrimination or the lingering effects of past discrimination.
  3. The existence of such pay disparities depresses the wages of working families who rely on the wages of all members of the family to make ends meet; and undermines women`s retirement security.
  4. Artificial barriers to the elimination of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex continue to exist decades after the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. These barriers have resulted because the Equal Pay Act has not worked as Congress originally intended.
  5. The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have important and unique responsibilities to help ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
  6. The Department of Labor is responsible for investigating and prosecuting equal pay violations, especially systemic violations, and in enforcing all of its mandates.
  7. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the primary enforcement agency for claims made under the Equal Pay Act.
  8. With a stronger commitment [to enforcement], increased information on wage data and more effective remedies, women will be better able to recognize and enforce their rights.
  9. Certain employers have already made great strides in eradicating unfair pay disparities in the workplace and their achievements should be recognized.
Source: S.84&H.R.377 13-S0084 on Jan 23, 2013

Enforce against anti-gay discrimination in public schools.

Gillibrand co-sponsored Student Non-Discrimination Act

Congressional Summary: