The Senator from Texas, who hopes to win over voters and become the next Governor of Texas in 2010, has a history of voting against legislation regarding civil equality. In fact, the ACLU scores the senator at only 25% when it comes to her voting record on civil rights, the Human Rights Campaign scored her at 0%, and the NAACP scored her at only 18%. Here’s a snippet of her record:
- Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (S. J. Res. 1)
- Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (S. 625, 2002 and S.2549, 2000)
- Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.(S.1173, 1997)
- Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (HR 3396, 1996)
- Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (S. 2056, 1996)
- Voted YES on loosening restrictions for cell phone wiretapping. (S. 1510, 2001)
In spite of Senator Hutchison’s anti-civil-rights votes, I still felt compelled to attempt to sway her opinion. I therefore sent her an email regarding the current Senate Bill 1103 (H.R. 1913) requesting she support the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The following is her response:
Thank you for contacting me regarding hate crime legislation. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.
In the 110th Congress, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced S. 1105, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This legislation would have provided federal assistance to states, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes. The bill defined a hate crime as a violent crime motivated by a prejudice based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. When the language was offered as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill, I voted against including it. The language was removed prior to final passage of the measure.
On April 2, 2009, Representative John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. This measure contains provisions similar to those contained in S. 1105 and equivalent legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1952, both of which were introduced during the previous Congress.
I continue to believe that all violent crimes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, regardless of the underlying motivation. Should legislation regarding hate crimes come before the full Senate, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind.
I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
A review of her voting record and the above email response indicates that Ms. Hutchison’s opinions on civil rights issues have not changed during her tenure in public office and apparently, will not change. If you are a member of a minority group, including women, this record should be appalling to you. I encourage those supporting Ms. Hutchison to cease that support. Please contact Ms. Hutchison’s office and let her know that we will know longer stand idly by while she strips rights from the American people.