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Public Statements

Issue Position: Civil Rights

Issue Position

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Safeguarding our Rights and Fighting for the Promise of Equality

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those words from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., continue to ring true nearly 50 years after they were written. Our nation has been a beacon of liberty and justice since its founding, and throughout our history we have strived to continually improve our society to make it more inclusive, fair, and participatory. For every civil rights achievement at home, we continue to inspire more abroad as millions look to our example in reaching for democracy and human rights.

We must continue the work of forming a more perfect union by fighting for equal rights and equal justice in every corner of society. When children from low-income families face few prospects for a quality education, when LGBT Americans who love each other are turned away when applying for a marriage license, when someone is denied a job or an opportunity because of sexual orientation, the arc of the universe -- of which Dr. King so eloquently spoke -- needs our hands to help it bend in justice's direction.

Chris' equal rights priorities include:

Creating equal access to education. Access to education is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time. We can break the self-perpetuating cycle of poverty and diminished opportunity for traditionally underrepresented groups by ensuring that all children have access to quality education that leads toward college attendance.

Full inclusion of the LGBT community. Nobody in our country should be denied rights or opportunities because of sexual- orientation. LGBT Americans are involved in every aspect of our national life, and we must ensure that they are able to pursue the American Dream the same as everyone else. This includes promoting measures to eradicate workplace discrimination and combating bullying targeted at LGBT youth.

Repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage is a human right. Every American deserves the chance to marry the partner of his or her choice. The Defense of Marriage Act is not only a burden on individuals and their freedom but also on the rights of states to have their citizens' marriages recognized by the federal government. Congress should repeal this act and do it quickly.

Monitoring implementation of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Chris was proud to vote for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," in the 111th Congress, and he will closely study the repeal's implementation by the Department of Defense over the coming months. No American should be forced to lie about sexual orientation in order to serve his or her country in uniform. All of our troops deserve our support.


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