Ron Paul on Civil Rights

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President

No federal marriage licenses & no state licenses either

Q: You've often said you believe defining marriage is a job that should be left to the states. Recently Sen. Santorum asked if a state wanted to allow polygamy, would that be okay too?

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.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa , Aug 11, 2011

Let churches marry couples, without government document

Q: [to Bachmann]: New Hampshire is one of five states where gays can marry legally. As president, would you try to overturn state laws?

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.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in Manchester NH , Jun 13, 2011

Government is totally unnecessary for gay marriage laws

Q: In Dec. 2007, you were asked if gays should be allowed to marry. You said, "Sure; they can do whatever they want and can call it whatever they want." Are you advocating legalizing gay marriage?

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.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Voluntary associations are better than quotas

Governments have notoriously written laws that segregated people whether by race, gender or sexual orientation. This practice was common from the time of slavery until the policy was replaced with affirmative action and forced association in private affairs, thus substituting one set of violations of individual rights with another. Voluntary associations are better. Quotas and affirmative action programs are based on certain groups qualifying for special privileges. Reversing the discrimination hasn't brought people together. Resentment remains in many areas but not where character and talent are the tests of one's ability. Even more appalling is the presumption that wherever blacks and whites and others associate freely, it is due solely to government laws that have forced the issue. The idea here is that if people are left to their own devices, they will always and everywhere choose homogeneity in their social associations. I can't imagine a stranger view of the human condition.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p. 74-75 , Apr 19, 2011

Definition of marriage is free speech

Why should the government give permission to two individuals for them to call themselves married? In a free society, something that we do not truly enjoy, all voluntary and consensual agreements would be recognized. If disputes arose, the courts could be involved as in any other civil dispute. But look at where we are today, constantly fighting over the definition and legality of marriage. Under our system, the federal government was granted no authority over this issue. Many Americans would even amend the Constitution to deal with the argument by defining marriage. This attempt only exacerbates the emotionally charged debate on both sides. I'd like to settle the debate by turning it into a First Amendment issue: the right of free speech. Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it will qualify as a civil contract if desired.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.183-184 , Apr 19, 2011

National ID card is part of fear-based government

As long as a government can stir up fear, sometimes real and sometimes not real, the people are expected to do one thing: sacrifice their liberty. If youíre fearful, the government, the people who believe in big government--big-government conservatives or big-government liberals--they like fear to be out there. Sometimes fear is normal & natural & real, and we have to deal with it. At other times itís concocted. In times of war, whether it was the civil war, WWI, WWII--just think of the violations of civil liberties during the period of war when people are frightened. The one conclusion I have come to since 9/11 is that there is absolutely never a need to sacrifice any of your personal liberties to be safe! That means we do not have to accept the notion that we can have warrantless searches, a total loss of our privacy. We donít need a National ID card. You donít have to register the American people to make us safe. You have to deal with the problem much more directly.
Source: Speeches to 2008 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 7, 2008

Civil Rights Act was more about property than race relations

Q: In a speech you gave in 2004, the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, you said: ďContrary to the claims of supporters of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty.Ē That act gave equal rights to African-Americans to vote, to live, to go to lunch counters, and you seem to be criticizing it.

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.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 ďMeet the CandidatesĒ series , Dec 23, 2007

Against ID for immigrants; it leads to national ID card

Q: Four out of five Hispanics are either legal residents or American citizens. Many of them feel affected by the negative tone of the immigration debate. What would you do to curb this anti-Hispanic sentiment?

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.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision , Dec 9, 2007

Protect all voluntary associations; donít define marriage

Q: On gay marriage. Youíve been quoted as saying, ďAny association thatís voluntary should be permissible in a free society.Ē And youíve expressed your opposition to a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

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.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida , Oct 21, 2007

No affirmative action for any group

All rights are individuals. We do not get our rights because we belong to a group. Whether itís homosexuals, women, minorities, it leads us astray. You donít get your rights belonging to your group. A group canít force themselves on anybody else. So there should be no affirmative action for any group.

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.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

No need for Marriage Amendment; DOMA is enough

Q: Will you support a federal marriage amendment, and what else will you do to protect the institution of marriage?

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.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

First Amendment was written for controversial speech

Q: Many libertarians oppose laws against same-sex marriages, prostitution and illegal drugs. What is your view?

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!

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Use power of presidency to restore habeas corpus

Increasing presidential powers is rather disturbing to me. Donít we remember that when you sacrifice liberty for security, you lose both? Thatís whatís happening in this country today. We have a national ID being implemented right now. We have warrantles searches. Weíve lost habeas corpus. Weíve had secret prisons & we have torture going on. Thatís un-American, and we need to use the power of the presidency to get it back in order, in order to take care of us and protect this country & our liberties.
Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Donít ask, donít tell is a decent policy for gays in army

Q: Most of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Israel, allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. Is it time to end ďDonít ask, donít tellĒ policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military?

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

Source: 2007 GOP debate at Saint Anselm College , Jun 3, 2007

Tamper-proof I.D. for immigrants is a bad idea

I get a little bit worried when we talk about the tamper-proof I.D. for illegals or immigrants, because how do you do that? Anybody that is an immigrant or looks like an immigrant would have to have an I.D. And then, you canít discriminate, so everybodyís going to have the I.D. I think itís opening the door for the national I.D., and we should be very, careful about that.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Republican primary debate , Jan 5, 2006

Gender-equal pay violates idea of voluntary contract

Today the lack of understanding and respect for voluntary contracts has totally confused the issue that in a free society an individual can run his or her business as he or she chooses. The idea that a social do-gooder can legislate a system which forces industry to pay men and women by comparable worth standards boggles the mind and further destroys our competitiveness in a world economy.

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.

Source: Freedom Under Siege, by Ron Paul, p. 17-18 , Dec 31, 1987

In times of war, our freedoms are threatened at home

In times of war, personal freedoms are threatened at home. That is why a proper foreign policy is so critical: so that freedoms at home are never again threatened. We have been able to recover some of the freedoms taken from us in times of war, but the real danger is that someday--under war conditions, preparation for war, or economic chaos brought on by inflation--our freedoms will be permanently lost.
Source: Freedom Under Siege, by Ron Paul, p. 48 , Dec 31, 1987

Rights belong only to individuals, not collective groups

After 200 years, the constitutional protection of the right of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is virtually gone.

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.

Source: Freedom Under Siege, by Ron Paul, p. 14-15 , Dec 31, 1987

Ron Paul on Voting+Sponsorships

No legislation to counteract the homosexual agenda

Q: What do you intend to do to counteract the homosexual agenda?

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.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Voted NO on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman.

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution stating: "Marriage in the US shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman."

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.

Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill H J RES 88 ; vote number 2006-378 on Jul 18, 2006

Voted NO on making the PATRIOT Act permanent.

To extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes, including:
Reference: USA PATRIOT and Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act; Bill HR 3199 ; vote number 2005-627 on Dec 14, 2005

Voted NO on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Marriage Protection Amendment - Declares that marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Prohibits the Constitution or any State constitution from being construed to require that marital status or its legal incidents be conferred upon any union other than that of a man and a woman.
Reference: Constitutional Amendment sponsored by Rep Musgrave [R, CO-4]; Bill H.J.RES.106 ; vote number 2004-484 on Sep 30, 2004

Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Pledge Protection Act: Amends the Federal judicial code to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appellate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the Constitution.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Todd Akin [R, MO-2]; Bill H.R.2028 ; vote number 2004-467 on Sep 23, 2004

Voted NO on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration.

Desecration of Flag resolution: Vote to pass the joint resolution to put forward a Constitutional amendment to state that Congress shall have the power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. Note: A two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting (284 in this case) is required to pass a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Thomas, R-CA; Bill HJRes.4 ; vote number 2003-234 on Jun 3, 2003

Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.

Vote on an amendment banning adoptions in District of Columbia by gays or other individuals who are not related by blood or marriage.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Largent, R-OK; Bill HR 2587 ; vote number 1999-346 on Jul 29, 1999

Voted YES on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions.

HR 6, the Higher Education Amendments Act of 1997, would prohibit any post-secondary institution that participates in any program under the Higher Education Act from discriminating or granting any preferential treatment in admission based on race, sex, ethnicity, color or national origin.
Reference: Amendment introduced by Riggs, R-CA.; Bill HR 6 ; vote number 1998-133 on May 6, 1998

Require "Privacy Impact Statement" on new federal rules.

Paul co-sponsored requiring "Privacy Impact Statement" on new federal rules

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.


LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Passed House on a voice vote; sent to Senate on Oct. 8, 2002; never called to vote in Senate.

Source: Federal Agency Protection of Privacy Act (H.R.4561) 02-HR4561 on Apr 24, 2002

Rated 67% by the ACLU, indicating a mixed civil rights voting record.

Paul scores 67% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of societyís most vulnerable members are denied, everybodyís rights are imperiled.

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.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Rated 38% by the HRC, indicating a mixed record on gay rights.

Paul scores 38% by the HRC on gay rights

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:

About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):

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.

Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 39% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action.

Paul scores 39% by the NAACP on affirmative action

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:

About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):

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.

Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Civil Rights: Ron Paul on other issues:
TX Gubernatorial:
Annise Parker
Julian Castro
Mike Rawlings
Rick Perry
TX Senatorial:
David Dewhurst
John Cornyn
Jon Roland
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Paul Sadler
Ted Cruz

Retiring to run for other office:

Running for President:
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)

Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

Running for Senate:
AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
Lost Primary 2012:
IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
NJ-9:Steven Rothman(D)
OH-2:Jean Schmidt(R)
OH-9:Dennis Kucinich(D)
PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
PA-17:Tim Holden(D)
TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

Retiring 2012:
AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
CA-18:Dennis Cardoza(R)
CA-24:Elton Gallegly(D)
CA-26:David Dreier(R)
CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
IL-15:Timothy Johnson(R)
IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
MA-1:John Olver(D)
MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
NC-9:Sue Myrick(R)
NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
NY-5:Gary Ackerman(D)
NY-10:Ed Towns(D)
NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
WA-6:Norm Dicks(D)
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