Sam Brownback on Civil Rights

Republican Sr Senator (KS)


Rescinded executive order on LGBT job protection

Governor Brownback's predecessor, Kathleen Sibelius, had put into place basic job protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Kansans who worked for the state, prohibiting a Kansas state employee from being fired due to his/her sexual orientation or gender identity. Governor Brownback has now abruptly rescinded that executive order (which of course he has the authority to do), leaving thousands of LGBT state workers in jeopardy. One governor giveth, and another taketh away.

In the years since Sibelius's action, one has to wonder how many gay state workers put a picture of their same-gender spouse on their work desks, believing they had the right and the opportunity to be more open under her executive order. Those workers are now "out" to their work colleagues and bosses. Can the boss or supervisor now fire them for being gay, with impunity? Does the gay worker now have no recourse in the courts because Brownback changed the rules? It remains to be seen.

Source: TheDailyBeast.com, "Regress on LGBT" , Feb 19, 2015

No special LGBT job protection; keep one class of citizens

Gov. Sam Brownback rescinded an executive order that had been in place since 2007 giving state employees protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity--a move described as outrageous and deplorable by civil rights activists. In place of that order, Brownback issued another order that he said "reaffirms the commitment of the State of Kansas to employment practices which do not discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry or age."

Source: Lawrence Journal-World "Brownback rescinds LGBT protections" , Feb 10, 2015

Defend traditional marriage

He believes deeply that we must defend traditional marriage, confirm judges who will interpret the law and not legislate from the bench, protect and renew our American culture and defend innocent human life at every stage of development.
Source: 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website brownback.org, "About" , Nov 2, 2010

Disgrace that national GOP narrowing base by ignoring blacks

Q: Please tell me and this audience why you chose to be here tonight and what you say to those who chose not to be here tonight.

A: I apologize for the candidates that arenít here. I think this is a disgrace that theyíre not here. I think itís a disgrace for our country, I think itís bad for our party, and I donít think itís good for our future. You know, you grow political parties by expanding your base, by reaching out to people and getting more people. What theyíre doing is sending the message of narrowing the base, and thatís not the right way to go. Itís not good for the Republican Party, itís not good for the country. And Iím sorry to those watching that theyíre not here. Iíve got a suggestion, though, for a way to fix it. A lot of people on the Republican side say: Well, OK, we canít get votes in the African American community. I say: Why donít you pick one of the early primary states, register Republican, and vote for one of the six of us? And then letís see what takes place.

Source: 2007 GOP Presidential Forum at Morgan State University , Sep 27, 2007

Fight against hate crimes legislation

Q: What do you intend to do to counteract the homosexual agenda on hate crimes legislation?

A: This is something we have got to fight against, that somehow that the thought is what the crime is, and that being moved into an agenda not allowing people to speak their beliefs about homosexuality.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Carried amendment defining marriage to Senate floor

Q: Will you support a federal marriage amendment, and what else will you do to protect the institution of marriage?

A: As you probably know, that was the amendment I carried in the judiciary committee. It was a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. I got it through the subcommittee, I got it through the judiciary committee in the Senate. We lost it on the floor, and yes, I will lead it as president. I wish President Bush would have led on it. That was something I was disappointed in. I thought if he had said after the last election, ďIíve got political capital. Iím going to spend it,Ē that if he had pivoted and said, ďand Iím going to push for a constitutional amendment on marriage,Ē which was much more what the election was about than Social Security, we might be there now. I donít know that we would, but you have got to do these sort of things, and you have got to take that leadership, and it gets, to me, back to the basics.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Ban gay marriage--itís a vast social experiment

Q: Should there be a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?

A: The answer to that is yes. And the reason is, this is a foundational institution. I understand we as a country are struggling with this question. But these issues arenít done in a vacuum. In countries that have redefined marriage, where theyíve said, OK, itís not just a man and a woman, it can be two men, two women, the marriage rates in those countries have plummeted to where you have counties now in northern Europe where 80% of the first-born children are born out of wedlock. We donít need more children born out of wedlock; we need more children born into wedlock, between a mom and a dad bonded together for life. When you do these vast, social experiments--and thatís what this is, when you redefine marriage--theyíre not done in isolation. They impact the rest of the culture around you. When you take the sacredness out of marriage, you will drive the marriage rates down.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Same-sex unions DO hurt traditional marriages

Some people said, "I don't like same-sex marriage, but is it really that big a deal?" Others said, "Same-sex marriage doesn't hurt my marriage." The problem is, it does. We now have a lot of social data from countries that have passed laws that allow same-sex marriage.

In Scandinavia, for example, we have 10 years of sociological research, and it shows that very few same-sex couples get married. Because that society has adopted an ambiguous definition of marriage, fewer heterosexuals are bothering to get married either.

Here you have a foundational institution that's already in trouble, and on top of that you take the sacredness and uniqueness of marriage away. The result is that the marriage rate plummets further & faster than anyone could ever have imagined. In some of those countries, traditional heterosexual marriage is fading away. With the advent of same-sex unions, parents in Sweden and Norway have increasingly given up on marriage altogether, no matter how many children they may have.

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 78&84 , Jul 3, 2007

Native American Apology Bill was to reconcile, not repay

One Native American impacted me when she talked about the bitterness that she held toward whites for taking away the Native American culture and their children, and for all the treaties that America had broken with her people. If this woman, a Christian with a strong faith, felt such deep and powerful emotions about these issues, I had to wonder what kind of emotions other Native Americans must be feeling.

My staff and I took a look at this situation, and we began researching an official apology to Native Americans for the way they had been treated over the years.

We've put the bill forward a couple of times now, and it has made it out of committee, but it's being held up by some senators who aren't convinced yet of the need for it. So I know that more work is needed.

The point of the Native American Apology is to acknowledge that one of the key things we need to do is to reconcile. No matter how many millions of dollars you put into something, you must still deal with the heart.

Source: From Power to Purpose, by Sam Brownback, p. 98-9 , Jul 3, 2007

Supports marriage as the union of a man and a woman

My basic positions are where the base of the Republican Party, and I believe the base of the country is. Iím pro-life. I believe life begins at conception, should be protected, and that thatís a broad definition that should help us do things like reducing prison recidivism. And I support marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and the ability to worship in the public square. Not a theocracy, but the ability to say things like one nation under God in the flag salute.
Source: CNN Late Edition: 2007 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Feb 25, 2007

Robustly religious public square better than naked square

SEN. BROWNBACK: You wrote in ACLU v. Schundler, concerning religious displays erected by Jersey City on the plaza of city hall. You upheld the constitutionality of [including symbols from numerous religions]. Are these types of displays constitutionally permissible?

ALITO: Including both religious and secular symbols was not a violation.

BROWNBACK: What I hear in your opinions is you would rather have a robust public square than a naked public square; that you think there is room for these sorts of displays in the public square.

ALITO: That was exactly what Jersey City had decided in that case.

BROWNBACK: Weíve had this 40 years of cases, I really hope we can have a public square that celebrates and not thatís got to be completely naked. [What about] C.H. v. Olivia?

ALITO: This case involved a student who wanted to read the story of Jacob and Esau to the class. And the teacher said no. And we found that was a violation of treating religious speech equally with secular speech.

Source: Sam Alito 2006 SCOTUS Senate Confirmation Hearings , Jan 11, 2006

Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration.

The Senate voted on a resolution which would recommend a Constitutional Amendment banning flag desecration (not a vote on the Amendment itself). The resolution states:
  1. the flag of the US is a unique symbol of national unity...
  2. the Bill of Rights should not be amended in a manner that could be interpreted to restrict freedom...
  3. abuse of the flag causes more than pain and distress... and may amount to fighting words...
  4. destruction of the flag of the US can be intended to incite a violent response rather than make a political statement and such conduct is outside the protections afforded by the first amendment to the Constitution.
Reference: Flag Desecration Amendment; Bill S.J.Res.12 ; vote number 2006-189 on Jun 27, 2006

Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

Voting YES implies support for amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. This cloture motion to end debate requires a 3/5th majority. A constitutional amendment requires a 2/3rd majority. The proposed amendment is:
Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
Reference: Marriage Protection Amendment; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 2006-163 on Jun 7, 2006

Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.

Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 625; Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act of 2001. The bill would expand the definition of hate crimes to incorporate acts committed because of a victim's sex, sexual orientation or disability and permit the federal government to help states prosecute hate crimes even if no federally protected action was implicated. If the cloture motion is agreed to, debate will be limited and a vote will occur. If the cloture motion is rejected debate could continue indefinitely and instead the bill is usually set aside. Hence a Yes vote supports the expansion of the definition of hate crimes, and a No vote keeps the existing definition. Three-fifths of the Senate, or 60 members, is required to invoke cloture.
Reference: Bill S.625 ; vote number 2002-147 on Jun 11, 2002

Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

Motion to table (kill) the amendment that would provide that in order to conduct roving surveillance, the person implementing the order must ascertain that the target of the surveillance is present in the house or is using the phone that has been tapped.
Reference: Bill S1510 ; vote number 2001-300 on Oct 11, 2001

Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.

Vote on an amendment that would expand the definition of hate crimes to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. The previous definition included only racial, religious or ethnic bias.
Reference: Bill S.2549 ; vote number 2000-136 on Jun 20, 2000

Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women.

Vote to table, or kill, an amendment to repeal the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise [DBE] Program, which requires no less than 10% of highway construction projects funded by the federal government to be contracted to 'disadvantaged business enterprises'
Reference: Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1998-23 on Mar 6, 1998

Voted YES on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business.

This legislation would have abolished a program that helps businesses owned by women or minorities compete for federally funded transportation.
Status: Cloture Motion Rejected Y)48; N)52
Reference: Motion to invoke cloture; Bill S.1173 ; vote number 1997-275 on Oct 23, 1997

Supports anti-flag desecration amendment.

Brownback co-sponsored a Constitutional Amendment:

Supports granting Congress power to prohibit the physical desecration of the U.S. flag. Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HJR36 on Mar 13, 2001

Rated 20% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record.

Brownback scores 20% by the ACLU on civil rights issues

We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. If the rights of societyís most vulnerable members are denied, everybodyís rights are imperiled.

Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.

Source: ACLU website 02n-ACLU on Dec 31, 2002

Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance.

Brownback scores 0% by the HRC on gay rights

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 HRC scores as follows:

About the HRC (from their website, www.hrc.org):

The Human Rights Campaign represents a grassroots force of more than 700,000 members and supporters nationwide. As the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, HRC envisions an America where GLBT people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

Ever since its founding in 1980, HRC has led the way in promoting fairness for GLBT Americans. HRC is a bipartisan organization that works to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender expression and identity.

Source: HRC website 06n-HRC on Dec 31, 2006

Rated 7% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance.

Brownback scores 7% by the NAACP on affirmative action

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 NAACP scores as follows:

About the NAACP (from their website, www.naacp.org):

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has worked over the years to support and promote our country's civil rights agenda. Since its founding in 1909, the NAACP has worked tirelessly to end racial discrimination while also ensuring the political, social, and economic equality of all people. The Association will continue this mission through its policy initiatives and advocacy programs at the local, state, and national levels. From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.

Source: NAACP website 06n-NAACP on Dec 31, 2006

Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage.

Brownback co-sponsored amending Constitution to define traditional marriage

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:<

Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.

Related bills: H.J.RES.22, H.J.RES.74, H.J.RES.89

Source: Marriage Protection Amendment (S.J.RES.43) 08-SJR43 on Jun 25, 2008

Recognize Juneteenth as historical end of slavery.

Brownback co-sponsored recognizing Juneteenth as historical end of slavery

A resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.

Recognizes the historical significance to the nation, and supports the continued celebration, of Juneteenth Independence Day (June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved African Americans were free). Declares the sense of Congress that:

  1. history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future; and
  2. the celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.
Legislative Outcome: House versions are H.CON.RES.155 and H.RES.1237; related Senate resolution S.RES.584 counts for sponsorship. Resolution agreed to in Senate, by Unanimous Consent.
Source: S.RES.584 08-SR584 on Jun 4, 2008

Supports Amendment to prevent same sex marriage.

Brownback supports the CC survey question on banning same-sex marriage

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Federal Marriage Amendment to prevent same sex marriage"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q3 on Aug 11, 2010

Constitutionally prohibit flag desecration.

Brownback signed Constitutional Amendment on the flag

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the Congress to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission by the Congress:

Article--'The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.'

Source: SJR.15&HJR.47 2009-SJR15 on May 6, 2009

Other governors on Civil Rights: Sam Brownback on other issues:
KS Gubernatorial:
Carl Brewer
Mike Pompeo
Wink Hartman
KS Senatorial:
Chad Taylor
Milton Wolf
Pat Roberts
Randall Batson
Todd Tiahrt

Gubernatorial Debates 2017:
NJ: Guadagno(R) vs.Phil Murphy(D, won 2017 primary) vs.Ray Lesniak(D, lost 2017 primary) vs.Mayor Steve Fulop(declined Dem. primary, Sept. 2016) vs.Lesniak(D) vs.Wisniewski(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R) vs.Rullo(R)
VA: Gillespie(R) vs.Perriello(D) vs.Wittman(R) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Northam(D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.(no opponent yet)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.David Carrington (R) vs.Tommy Battle (R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I)
CO: Ed Perlmutter (D) vs.Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.George Brauchler (R) vs.Doug Robinson (R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Drew(D) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mike Huckabee (R) vs.Adam Putnam (R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Casey Cagle (R) vs.Hunter Hill (R) vs.Stacey Abrams (R)
HI: Ige(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Andy McGuire (D) vs.Nate Boulton (D)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.J.B. Pritzker (D)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Richard Madaleno (D)
ME: (no candidate yet)
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NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
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OK: Gary Richardson (R) vs.Connie Johnson (D)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman (D)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Wagner(R)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R)
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TX: Abbott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
VT: Scott(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D)
WY: (no candidate yet)
Newly-elected governors (first seated in Jan. 2017):
DE-D: Carney
IN-R: Holcomb
MO-R: Greitens
NH-R: Sununu
NC-D: Cooper
ND-R: Burgum
VT-R: Scott
WV-D: Justice

Retiring 2017-18:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
IA-R: Terry Branstad
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
KS-R: Sam Brownback
(term-limited 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SC-R: Nikki Haley
(appointed ambassador, 2017)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Phone number:
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Page last updated: Jul 26, 2017