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Public Statements

Issue Position: Civil and Constitutional Rights

Issue Position

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Congressman Blumenauer, a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, is a strong advocate for human rights and democracy. While there are limits to our ability to impact what goes on in other countries, he believes it is particularly important that the United States always model and advocate our deepest held values.

Congressman Blumenauer is a staunch opponent of torture, whether committed by the United States or despotic regimes across the globe. He strongly supports the Geneva Conventions and the obligations of the laws of war. He has regularly led the charge to prohibit torture and close down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Questions remain about how to prosecute individuals accused of plotting or attempting to attack the United States. There are legitimate concerns about the viability of holding these trials in civilian courts. Yet the Congressman believes that doing so would also be a step forward in confronting both our alleged attackers and the treatment they subsequently received at our hands. Now is the time to recommit to, not shy away from, the rule of law.

DEFENDING WOMEN'S RIGHTS

The advancement of women's rights is a priority for Congressman Blumenauer. He consistently supports policies relating to women's health, economic equity, education, domestic violence, childcare, child support, sexual harassment and international human rights.

Congressman Blumenauer has worked hard in Congress to promote women's reproductive choice, prohibit sex discrimination in employment and wages, encourage comprehensive sexuality education, protect international family planning efforts, provide assistance to victims of domestic violence, and to advance the status of women and girls in low-income countries.

FIGHTING FOR LGBT EQUALITY

All Americans have a fundamental right to feel safe in their communities. Congressman Blumenauer is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and has been a steadfast advocate for policies to combat discrimination, inequity, and injustice. After years of bipartisan support, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was enacted into law this Congress, protecting Americans against violence based on sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or gender identity by extending the federal hate crimes statute. .

He is strongly opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), joining Congressman Nadler in co-sponsoring legislation that aims to repeal the discriminatory policy, which prevents national recognition of same-sex marriage. Efforts to define "traditional marriage' as a wedge issue for scoring political points are both obstructive to our democratic process and a civil injustice to those in the GLBT community.

Thousands of honorable men and women have been discharged from our armed services under Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT), weakening our military and infringing on the rights of thousands of service men and women based on their sexual orientation. Congressman Blumenauer is heartened by the growing momentum to repeal this discriminatory policy and has long supported the Military Readiness Enhancement Act.

RESTORING PRIVACY

For the past decade Congressman Blumenauer has been highly critical of warrantless wiretapping programs. He consistently voted against the Bush administration's efforts to intrude on the lives of unknowing and innocent Americans, including opposing the PATRIOT Act in the fall of 2001 and subsequent expansions. This legislation granted law enforcement powers too broad and too removed from oversight, such as allowing the government to obtain "any tangible thing" relevant to a terrorism investigation, including library records. In 2008, Congressman Blumenauer opposed an expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allowed warrantless wiretapping of citizens, limited judicial review and Congressional oversight, and gave immunity to telecommunications companies that cooperated with warrantless wiretapping. The Congressman is confident that the dedicated members of the intelligence community do not need to violate the rights of Americans in order to protect them. He continues to champion a more balanced, accountable approach between civil liberties and national defense.


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