Ed Markey believes in an America that fully respects and protects the civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution, and which does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. He has regularly received perfect 100 percent scores from the Leadership Conference On Civil Rights, the NAACP, and the National Council of La Raza.
He is one of the leading House critics of the practice of warrant-less searches, torture and extralegal "rendition" of suspects by the Bush Administration in violation of the Constitution and international law.
He opposed the renewal of the Patriot Act provisions which allow administrative warrants to authorize searches of persons not connected to any terrorist activity.
He also opposed the Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" that allows states to discriminate against same-sex marriages performed in another state, as well as the so-called "Marriage Protection Act," which would strip the federal courts of the power to hear and rule on any future constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.
In the 1990s Rep Markey successfully led efforts to force the securities industry to stop requiring its employees to waive their rights to have race discrimination, sexual harassment, age discrimination or other civil rights claims heard by the courts rather than by a security-industry sponsored arbitration forum.