Civil and Human Rights
Keith supports the rights of all individuals to vote, free of undue burden or harassment. Minnesota has consistently led the nation in voter turnout, without evidence of fraud. Keith has introduced legislation to extend our model to the nation, making Election Day voter registration the law of the land.
Keith is a tireless advocate for equal human and civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
Discrimination has no place in our society—especially when it leads to intimidation and violence. Crime based on hate hurts not just the victim, but undermines our basic values of tolerance and equality. Keith helped provide local law enforcement more tools to crack down on violent crimes motivated by bigotry by supporting the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
At a time when our nation is fighting two wars, we cannot afford to exclude highly qualified soldiers based on their sexual orientation—that’s why Keith joined his Democratic colleagues and President Obama in repealing the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in December 2010.
Keith also supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill which protects employees based on their real or perceived sexual orientation. Keith has pushed for Congress to add gender identity to the bill, which would provide additional protections for the rights of thousands of Minnesotans.
In his first term, Keith and his House Democratic colleagues passed the Employee Free Choice Act, which would provide working families with the tools to advocate for a living wage, health benefits, and safe working conditions. It will protect the rights of workers and expand the middle class for future generations. Keith is committed to expanding workers’ rights because the U.S. economy will do better when working families have health care and earn a living wage.
Due Process of Law
We must use all the tools at our disposal to fight terrorism and defend our national interests. However, if we act brutally, without respect for our values or the rule of law, we risk eroding our own civil rights and losing our moral standing in the world.
Keith has called for closing Guantanamo Bay and restoring habeas corpus rights to so-called enemy combatants. Beyond that, Keith has pushed for the Army Field Manual’s limitations on interrogation techniques, which prohibit waterboarding and other torture, to cover all U.S. government agencies and personnel. We will fight to protect our nation from any threat, but we must do so in a way we can proudly explain to our grandchildren.
Re-Entry for Ex-Offenders
Keith believes that our criminal justice system should be a vehicle for rehabilitation, not revenge. Once offenders have served their time, it’s in the interest of the community to help guide their transition back into society. Without attention after their release, former criminals are at risk to offend again, wasting the effort we put into their redemption and costing our communities another productive member.
Keith helped pass a bill to put more resources into a comprehensive approach to help ex-offenders gain control of their lives and contribute positively to our communities. The Second Chance Act ensures continued case management after an offender’s release, including drug treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and psychological counseling.