Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-02-03

Civil Rights Group Urges New Senate Leader to Keep Promises

A civil rights coalition group sent a letter on Tuesday to newly elected Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) urging him to keep his promise to “heal the wounds of division” opened up by outgoing Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS). The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), which represents more than 180 organizations, including the Feminist Majority, asked Frist to make civil rights a real priority for the Republican-led Senate when it reconvenes. Among other important goals, LCCR wants Frist to oppose judicial nominees who do not have a commitment to civil rights, preserve equal opportunity for women and girls in athletics by protecting Title IX, and ensure fairness in the criminal justice system and immigration. The letter was signed by Wade Henderson, LCCR executive director, and Dr. Dorthy Height, LCCR chair.

“We are hoping [the Lott controversy] has created a greater awareness and an opportunity to work with both Republicans and Democrats on human rights issues and civil liberties,” Nancy Zirkin, LCCR public policy director, told the Washington Post. But, she added, it “remains to be seen” whether Congress members’ attitudes towards civil rights have really changed, the Post reports. Lott stepped down as Majority Leader after being widely chastised for making racist remarks at a birthday celebration for retiring Senator Strom Thurmond. Frist, a retired heart surgeon, is close to President Bush and key presidential aides, including political strategist Karl Rove.

Frist’s record on civil rights and women's rights does little to suggest a change in Republican policies. Planned Parenthood’s Action Fund gave Frist a zero percent rating for voting against choice in eight key issues, including emergency contraception, the global gag rule, and sex education. The National Organization for Women notes that his record on civil rights is no better than Lott’s, with Frist voting against affirmative action, hate crimes legislation, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. According to the Post, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) gave Frist an “F” rating for voting against civil rights measures 75 percent of the time. LCCR gave him a 0 percent rating on civil rights issues in their latest Congressional scorecard.

Media Resources: LCCR letter text 12/30/02; Washington Post 12/30/02, 12/23/02; USA Today 12/30/02; Feminist Daily News Wire


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
 
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case. UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
 
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall. The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies. Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .