U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

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Equality and Civil Rights

Equality and Civil Rights

Equality and Civil Rights

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.

Senator Coons’ equal rights priorities include:

  • Equal access to education. Access to education is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time. We can break the cycle of poverty and diminished opportunity for traditionally underrepresented groups by ensuring that all children have access to quality education that leads toward higher education.
  • Equal pay for equal work.  Even though women in the workforce have never been more important for the economic security of American families, women still receive just over 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  Senator Coons supports equal pay for equal work.
  • Ending racial profiling. Domestic law enforcement, border security and national security investigations should follow the evidence, not be driven by the race or ethnicity of a suspect or target population.
  • Full inclusion of the LGBT community. Nobody in our country should be denied rights or opportunities because of their 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. Every American deserves the chance to marry the person they love. 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. Just hours after the Supreme Court’s historic decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, Senator Coons joined Senator Feinstein and 39 of their colleagues in reintroducing the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal the entirety of the Defense of Marriage Act and remove the remaining statutory obstacles to full implementation of the decision. 
  • Making Sure Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell stays in the rear-view. Senator Coons was proud to vote for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Its implementation has enhanced unit cohesion and national security, but opponents of equality have sought to roll back progress by preventing uniformed LGBT Americans from using military facilities for weddings and civil unions.  All of our troops deserve our support, equally, and Senator Coons will fight against these relics of discrimination.


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