Martha Coakley on Civil Rights



Repeal DOMA: full rights for same-sex couples

Repealing DOMA: Martha has stood as a national leader in defending same-sex couples and their right to marriage. Martha is the only Attorney General in the country to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which unfairly excludes married same-sex couples and their families from critically important rights and protections. In Washington, Martha Coakley will continue this fight and will lead the effort to repeal DOMA.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, marthacoakley.com, "Issues" , Oct 1, 2009

End discrimination on basis of race, gender, and disability

Martha Coakley believes our democracy is based on the promise that government must work for everyone.

Despite tremendous progress, there is still much to be done to end discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age and disability.

Martha believes that our differences and diversity make us stronger -- and that our government must ensure equal access to opportunities and fair treatment for all.

As Attorney General, Martha investigated and pursued cases related to housing discrimination, disability rights, fair lending, public accommodation, equal marriage, health care disparities, and hate crimes based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. Throughout her career, Martha has also been a forceful advocate for legislation designed to protect and advance civil rights, and has successfully worked with the Legislature to craft and pass laws that promote equal rights and opportunity.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website, marthacoakley.com, "Issues" , Oct 1, 2009

More women should take active role in policy discussions

Attorney General Martha Coakley delivered the keynote address at the Women2Women International Leadership Conference. Coakley discussed the challenges she faced in pursuing a career as a lawyer, prosecutor, and now elected official. "It's important that women take an active role in the policy discussions and decision making that shape our society and the world," Coakley said, encouraging "further participation in your local communities and further developing your leadership skills."
Source: Press release on Attorney General website, www.mass.gov , Aug 6, 2009

Penalize racially-motivated crime as civil rights violation

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office obtained a civil rights injunction against two men charged with a racially motivated attack in Worcester. The order prohibits the alleged perpetrators from violating the civil rights of the victims and all others in the Commonwealth based upon their actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity or national origin. A violation of the injunction is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and two and a half years in a House of Correction, or if bodily injury results from such violation, a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in State Prison.

"Unprovoked, racially motivated attacks like this cannot and will not be tolerated in Massachusetts. These incidents not only affect the victims, but the community as a whole," said Coakley. "Fortunately, the community responded to this incident with a swift and strong message reaffirming its collaborative commitment to securing the civil rights of all its citizens."

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, www.mass.gov , Jul 9, 2009

Anti-gay hate crimes devastate victims & communities

Attorney General Coakley's Office has obtained a Final Judgment imposing a five year civil rights injunction against a Quincy man accused of committing a bias-motivated attack on a Quincy resident because of his perceived sexual orientation. The Final Judgment prohibits the alleged perpetrator from threatening the victim on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation. A violation of the injunction is a criminal offense punishable by a fine of $5,000 & 30 months in a house of correction, or if bodily injury results from such violation, a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in state prison.

"We know the uniquely devastating impact that hate crimes have on victims and communities," said Coakley. "Our office is committed to enforcing the state's civil rights laws to protect residents and visitors to the Commonwealth."

The Attorney General's lawsuit stems from an attack on a gay man in Feb. 2008, where the alleged perpetrator engaged in a physical assault while using anti-gay slurs.

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, www.mass.gov , Jul 8, 2009

Federal DOMA violates rights of same-sex couples

Coakley filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"). The law, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, unfairly excludes more than 16,000 Massachusetts married same-sex couples and their families from critically important rights and protections based on marital status. The complaint alleges that DOMA violates the US Constitution by interfering with the Commonwealth's sovereign authority to define and regulate the marital status of its residents. The complaint also alleges that Congress does not have a valid reason for requiring Massachusetts to treat married same-sex couples differently from all other married couples.

Coakley said, "DOMA affects residents of Massachusetts in very real and very negative ways by depriving access to important economic safety nets and other protections that couples count on when they marry and that help them to take care of one another and their families."

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, www.mass.gov , Jul 8, 2009

Other governors on Civil Rights: Martha Coakley on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Jay Gonzalez
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Mo Cowan

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)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D)
MN: Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Steve Marchand (D, Portsmouth Mayor)
NM: Grisham(D) vs.(no opponent yet)
NV: Jared Fisher (R) vs.(no opponent yet)
NY: Cuomo(R) vs.(no opponent yet)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Sutton(D) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Jon Husted (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D)
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)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D)
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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Page last updated: Jul 20, 2017