State of Kentucky Archives: on Civil Rights


C. Wesley Morgan: Government needs to get out of business of reverse racism

Q: Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

A: The constant promoting of racism is destroying the U. S. The government needs to get out of the business of reverse racism. Every U.S citizen should have the same rights, no race should be denied their constitutional rights but no other race should be denied their constitutional rights in favor of some other race.

Source: AFA iVoterGuide on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Nov 3, 2020

Amy McGrath: No discrimination over sexual orientation

Q: Support gay marriage and LGBTQ Rights?

Amy McGrath: Yes. Supports the "freedom to marry who you want to marry." "No Kentuckian should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation."

Mitch McConnell: No. "I've always felt that marriage was between one man and one woman." But sees 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as "the law of the land."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Oct 10, 2020

Mitch McConnell: Against gay marriage but now law of the land

Q: Support gay marriage and LGBTQ Rights?

Mitch McConnell: No. "I've always felt that marriage was between one man and one woman." But sees 2015 Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage as "the law of the land."

Amy McGrath: Yes. Supports the "freedom to marry who you want to marry." "No Kentuckian should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation."

Source: CampusElect on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Oct 10, 2020

Steven Cox: Expand the Voting Rights Act

Voter suppression efforts have rigged numerous elections across the country. We will expand the Voting Rights Act to protect every American's right to cast their vote.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate website CoxForUS.com Feb 6, 2020

Wesley Morgan: Stop government from interfering with free exercise of faith

1st Amendment--"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". I believe the government needs to be prohibited from interfering with the free exercise of one's faith.
Source: 2020 Kentucky Senate website WesleyMorganForSenate.com Feb 6, 2020

Andy Beshear: Restore voting rights to non-violent offenders

In our first month in office, my administration took immediate action: I restored voting rights to more than 140,000 Kentuckians that had committed nonviolent felonies. It's time to pass a constitutional amendment that automatically restores voting rights to non-violent offenders that complete their sentences.
Source: 2020 Kentucky State of the State address Jan 14, 2020

Andy Beshear: Diversity isn't a buzz word; it's a value

And I have been intentional about building an inclusive cabinet that reflects the people of Kentucky and who will represent their interests. Diversity isn't a buzz word or a metric. It's a value. It makes us a better government and makes our state more attractive to investment.
Source: 2020 Kentucky State of the State address Jan 14, 2020

Steven Cox: Launched online petition to remove Confederate statue

[On Black Lives Matters protests]: "The Confederate soldier statue located in front of the old courthouse/government building is a symbol of racism and inequality," says an online petition. "It should be destroyed." The petition says the statue is "at the site of the old tree that was used to hang black people in the past." It's the idea of Senate candidate Steven Cox. "These people are amazing," Cox wrote online about the protest. "There's only one thing wrong. That [expletive] statue."
Source: The Messenger on 2020 Kentucky Senate race Jan 2, 2020

Robert Goforth: Constitution protects LGBTQ rights

Q: What will you do to support LGBTQ Kentuckians? What will you do to protect people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity?

A: I believe that the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky protect everyone equally under the law.

Source: KFTC.org on 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial race Aug 7, 2019

Andy Beshear: Government works best with a wide range of voices

Diversity and Inclusiveness: I believe that our state government works best when people with a wide range of voices and backgrounds have a seat at the table. I'm proud to lead an AG's office in which more than 60% of the leadership positions are held by women or people of color. As governor, my office and my cabinet will reflect the growing diversity of our great state.
Source: 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial campaign website AndyBeshear.com May 2, 2019

Andy Beshear: Marriage equality for whomever you love

Marriage Equality: I support the right of all Kentuckians to marry the person they love. Discrimination is wrong and it's time to turn the page on a governor who seeks to divide us and demean those he disagrees with.
Source: 2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial campaign website AndyBeshear.com May 2, 2019

Andy Beshear: 60% of AG leadership were women or minorities

La Casita, a Latinx activist group, hosting a bilingual forum for the governor's race, brought up the issue of racial profiling, or "driving while brown," and asked the candidates what they would do to combat racial profiling within the Kentucky State Police.

Adam Edelen said the issue stems from police departments that don't reflect the diversity of the communities they represent.

Beshear's representative said 60% of Beshear's leadership in the attorney general's office are women and people of c

Source: Insider Louisville blog on 2019 Kentucky governor's race Apr 26, 2019

Robert Goforth: Protect religious beliefs against LGBTQ people

Robert Goforth co-sponsored House Bill 372 to set forth protected religious beliefs or moral convictions:Analysis by Rewire News Legislative Tracker:: HB 372 would create government protections for the "sincerely held" religious beliefs or moral convictions of religious organizations. The bill would allow private businesses to legally refuse service to LGBTQ people based on the owner's religious belief.

Legislative outcome:Referred to Judiciary (died in Committee)

Source: Kentucky legislative voting records: HB 372 Feb 14, 2018

Amy McGrath: Agrees with Supreme Court upholding same sex marriage

With the social issues, when I talk to people I tell them I actually align with the John Roberts conservative Supreme Court. The John Roberts conservative Supreme Court has upheld women's reproductive rights, it's upheld the right of freedom to marry who you want to marry [for same-sex couples]. And I tell people, if you're more conservative than the conservative Roberts Supreme Court, then you should probably not be voting for me if those are your issues.
Source: Bloomberg News on 2018 Kentucky 6th District House race Oct 31, 2017

James Comer: Support traditional marriage between one man and one woman

I am 100% pro-life and I oppose gay marriage. While I was a Kentucky State Representative, I cosponsored the 2005 amendment that made same sex marriage illegal in Kentucky. As a Congressman, I will always strongly support life and only support traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
Source: 2016 Kentucky House campaign website JamesComer.com Nov 8, 2016

C. Wesley Morgan: No same-sex marriage; no gender identity hate crimes

Q: Do you support same-sex marriage?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Kentucky's anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Kentucky's anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Source: Kentucky State Legislative 2016 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2016

Jim Gray: Pay equity for women; and raise the minimum wage

Jim's family's business invests in our people. As a country we need to do the same. Wages need to get moving in the right direction again, whether it's raising the minimum wage--which we've done in Lexington-- pay equity for women, or encouraging companies to see the value in investing more in their employees. Kentuckians who work hard and do their best should be able to afford a happy and healthy life, which means enough money for a secure retirement, a good education for their kids, and a comfortable home to raise a family.

We can rebuild the American Dream by growing our economy and creating more good paying jobs. That's what Jim has done his entire life and that's what he'll do for Kentucky in the US Senate.

Source: 2016 Kentucky Senate campaign website, GrayForKentucky.com Aug 8, 2016

Jim Gray: Openly gay mayor of Lexington: not all are anti-gay

Jim Gray, the openly gay mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, wants you to know that, despite Kim Davis' crusade, you shouldn't stereotype everyone in the Bluegrass State as bigoted and antigay. Last week he became the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, winning almost 60% of the vote and easily beating six other candidates. He'll now go up against GOP senator Rand Paul in the general election in November.

"Well, I would first say there's no place for bigotry and prejudice and discrimination, and it always threatens liberty and justice and freedom," he said in an interview, discussing Kentucky's Democratic voters rallying around him. "I won the primary, [winning in] every county in the state. And we expect momentum heading into the fall. And I see people across the state who are interested in the issues that are really pressing issues.

Source: Huffington Post on 2016 Kentucky Senate race May 24, 2016

Jack Conway: Same-sex marriage ban is last vestige of discrimination

Kentucky's Attorney General Explains Why He Won't Defend Gay Marriage Ban: Calling laws against same-sex marriage the last vestige of widespread discrimination in America, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway told TIME magazine he refused to continue defending his state's ban on gay marriage because he feared he'd regret it for the rest of his life. "I know where history is going on this," he said. "I know what was in my heart."
Source: 2015 Kentucky Governor campaign website, ConwayOverly.com Aug 11, 2015

Jack Conway: Didn't challenge court ruling that allowed same-sex marriage

Matt Bevin is the conservative running in a conservative state against a candidate who wouldn't challenge a court ruling striking down Kentucky's ban on same-sex marriage. Republicans will try to tie Conway to Democratic President Barack Obama.

But can Conway convince Kentuckians he's one of them? Fairly or not, Conway is viewed by some rural Kentuckians as a wealthy, urban elitist. He sent his running mate on a rural tour rather than go himself. He reminds audiences that his father grew up in Union County, but the farm boys I know are likely to take more notice of his expensive suits and cuff links.

Source: CNHI News coverage of 2015 Kentucky Gubernatorial race May 29, 2015

Alison Grimes: Supports allowing gay marriage

Grimes also repeated her support for allowing gay marriage, acknowledging that not all of Kentucky agrees with her "philosophy" but saying "my hope is that we can move forward."
Source: Lexington Herald Leader on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Sep 25, 2014

Alison Grimes: AdWatch: VAWA and equal pay for women

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is hitting Sen. Mitch McConnell on women's issues in her newest ad, the latest in a series featuring regular Kentucky citizens: Ilene Woods of Lynch KY asks McConnell why he voted twice against the Violence Against Women Act and "against enforcing equal pay for women." After a moment of silence, Grimes says, "I can never get him to answer this one either." She adds, to McConnell: "I approved this message, because senator, you must be forgetting that over half the voters in Kentucky are women like Ilene."

The charge that McConnell opposed the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay legislation is central to Grimes' pitch to female voters. McConnell's team has pushed back, arguing that he was originally a co-sponsor of the bill and only voted against it twice because he felt one changed version of the bill went too far, and because once it was attached to a ban on assault weapons.

Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Jul 30, 2014

Mitch McConnell: I co-sponsored VAWA but final version went too far

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is hitting Sen. Mitch McConnell on women's issues in her newest ad, the latest in a series featuring regular Kentucky citizens: Ilene Woods of Lynch KY asks McConnell why he voted twice against the Violence Against Women Act and "against enforcing equal pay for women." After a moment of silence, Grimes says, "I can never get him to answer this one either." She adds, to McConnell: "I approved this message, because senator, you must be forgetting that over half the voters in Kentucky are women like Ilene."

The charge that McConnell opposed the Violence Against Women Act and equal pay legislation is central to Grimes' pitch to female voters. McConnell's team has pushed back, arguing that he was originally a co-sponsor of the bill and only voted against it twice because he felt one changed version of the bill went too far, and because once it was attached to a ban on assault weapons.

Source: The Hill weblog on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Jul 30, 2014

Alison Grimes: Both supportive and apprehensive about marriage equality

Grimes appears to be playing it safe on marriage equality in the wake of a federal judge's ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. When asked to comment about the judge's decision striking down the ban, Grimes seemed both supportive and apprehensive about marriage equality: "While I don't believe any church should be forced to recognize anything that is inconsistent with their teachings, my husband and I have been married for seven years, and I believe others should have the opportunity to make that same commitment," Grimes wrote by email.

Grimes' campaign issued a virtually identical statement in February when the same federal judge ruled that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. This isn't the first time Grimes has seemed reluctant to discuss the issue: In August, she declined to express her views on marriage equality in an interview with Politico. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), whom Grimes is attempting to unseat, opposed the ruling.

Source: Huffington Post on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Jul 1, 2014

Matt Bevin: Why not define marriage as a parent marrying their child?

Bevin suggested that legalizing same-sex marriages could lead to marriages between a parent and child: "If it's all right to have same-sex marriages, why not define a marriage--because at the end of the day a lot of this ends up being taxes and who can visit who in the hospital and there's other repressions and things that come with it--so a person may want to define themselves as being married to one of their children so that they can then in fact pass on certain things to that child financially and otherwise," Bevin said on a conservative talk-radio show. "Where do you draw the line?"

Bevin's campaign spokeswoman pushed back on reports on Bevin's comments: to suggest Bevin drew a connection between same-sex marriage and marriage between a child and a parent was a "gross misrepresentation of what Matt said. He sees no comparison between gay marriage and incest. He was discussing the implications of the legal rights such as hospital visitations. To imply otherwise is ridiculous," she said.

Source: The Hill blog on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Feb 20, 2014

Alison Grimes: Fight for pay equity for women

Just as she has throughout her life, Alison Lundergan Grimes will continue fighting for women as Kentucky's first female United States Senator.

ACHIEVING PAY EQUITY: Women are half of the labor force in this country yet still make 77 cents for every dollar--23% less than their male counterparts. In Kentucky, women lose nearly $5 billion in wages each year--a statistic that is staggering and unacceptable. With that money a working woman in Kentucky could purchase 78 more weeks of groceries, pay 14 more months of rent, make 8 more months of mortgage and utilities payments or buy 2,477 additional gallons of gas. In contrast, Mitch McConnell has called equal pay for equal work just another "special interest vote" and voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act--not once, but twice.

Source: 2014 Senate campaign website, AlisonForKentucky.com "Issues" Nov 8, 2013

Jack Conway: Claims Paul questions Civil Rights Act and the ADA

Q: [With regard to Conway's "Aqua Buddha" TV ads]: Why does an incident from 27 years ago matter to voters?

CONWAY: There's a direct line from his college days. "The Washington Post" last week did a series of stories about Rand Paul's college letters to the editor. And he questioned whether or not two people could ever be equal. You know, I happen to think our creator makes us equal. He questioned whether or not women needed equal protection in the law. He questioned nondiscrimination laws and consumer protection laws. And you can draw a straight line from those attitudes in college to the positions he has taken in this campaign. Rand Paul has said that the federal government doesn't need to be involved in faith-based initiatives. He's come for a 23% national sales tax that would do away with charitable deductions. He's questioned fundamental principles of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act, too.

Source: CNN "360 Degrees" coverage: 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 19, 2010

Jack Conway: I abhor discrimination; end "don't ask, don't tell"

Q: [To Conway]: You have signed the policy platforms of MoveOn.org supporting repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," and the so-called public option. Would you be to the left of Pres. Obama?

CONWAY: Look, I'm a proud Democrat. I'm certainly not going to be to the left of Obama. I'm going to put Kentucky first. And the reason I said something on "don't ask, don't tell" is I abhor discrimination. It was painful for a lot of Kentuckians to see Rand Paul question fundamental provisions of the Civil Rights Act.

Source: Fox News Sunday, 2010 Kentucky Senate debate Oct 3, 2010

Steve Beshear: Will veto a bill that would ban gay marriage in KY

In mid-January, a state senate committee approved legislation that would amend Kentucky's constitution to prohibit gay marriage. In late January, Gov. Steve Beshear vowed to veto the bill. In late March, a bill to bar state agencies and schools from giving domestic partners health insurance was killed in Committee.
Source: 2010 Kentucky gubernatorial press release Jan 14, 2010

Rand Paul: Opposes same-sex marriage

Like Dr. Paul, Mr. Grayson, 37, said he opposed the federal bailout, abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Mr. Grayson has the support of the state's most powerful politician, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who hosted a fund-raiser in Washington for him in September, helping him amass the $1.2 million he raised from May to October.
Source: New York Times politics report: Kentucky Nov 26, 2009

Trey Grayson: Opposes same-sex marriage

Like Dr. Paul, Mr. Grayson, 37, said he opposed the federal bailout, abortion rights and same-sex marriage. Mr. Grayson has the support of the state's most powerful politician, the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who hosted a fund-raiser in Washington for him in September, helping him amass the $1.2 million he raised from May to October.
Source: New York Times politics report: Kentucky Nov 26, 2009

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Kentucky Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Civil Rights:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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