Rep. John Lewis Speaks Out On Voter Suppression And Marriage Equality

Andrea Mitchell invited civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on her show this Thursday, and after opening the segment by showing his recent take-down of fellow Rep. Paul Broun on the House floor, for pushing an amendment that would have stripped
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Andrea Mitchell invited civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis on her show this Thursday, and after opening the segment by showing his recent take-down of fellow Rep. Paul Broun on the House floor, for pushing an amendment that would have stripped funding for enforcement of Title V of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, Lewis spoke to Mitchell about how dangerous the recent efforts by Republicans to take our country backwards with are all of these voter suppression laws being passed in states across the country.

What I'm surprised they did not discuss are the recent efforts by the House Democrats to fight back against voter suppression:

Today, House Democrats did something really important. Something fundamental to our democracy. Today, House Democrats unveiled the Voter Empowerment Act - a legislation that would roll back many GOP state-sponsored efforts and laws to suppress the vote.

The bill will protect voters from restrictive voting measures that have been enacted in states across the country over the last year. These measures make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote, and disproportionally affect our service members, the disabled, minorities, young people, seniors, and low-income Americans.

The bill will protect voters from restrictive voting measures that have been enacted in states across the country over the last year. These measures make it harder for millions of eligible voters to register or vote, and disproportionally affect our service members, the disabled, minorities, young people, seniors, and low-income Americans.

You can read more details on the bill in the link above. Mitchell also asked Lewis about President Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage and as Think Progress reported, it looks like the numbers are starting to turn around on that issue in the African American community now as well: The Obama Effect: Growing Number Of African Americans Come Out For Marriage Equality:

While African Americans are generally less supportive of marriage equality as a whole, a growing number of black leaders and community members have come to embrace the issue since President Obama endorsed the freedom to marry last week.

As Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) explained during an appearance on MSNBC Thursday afternoon, “Dr. [Martin Luther] King took a simple position. When people would ask him about interracial marriage, he would simply say races don’t fall in love and get married, individuals fall in love and get married.” “So if two men or two women want to fall in love and get married it’s their business,” he added:

LEWIS: My position is very, very simple. That I fought too long and too hard against discrimination based on race and color, not to stand up and fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation. If you’re going to provide civil rights and equality for everybody, you cannot draw a line, you cannot build a wall. We must respect the dignity and the worth of every human being whether they are gay or straight.

You can read more in their post on what some of the recent shifts in the poll numbers look like. Hopefully those numbers will continue to improve as more leaders in the African American community like Rep. Lewis continue to speak out.

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