Sen. Al Franken, our first conference speaker

The first speaker at our Moving Equality Forward Conference, at the bright & early hour of 8 am, is Senator Al Franken.

From left: Minnesota NOW President Shannon Drury, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Executive Vice President-Action of National NOW Erin Matson,  and Sen. Franken.

It’s entirely appropriate to lead off our conference with Sen. Franken, for he’s been a vocal supporter of equality and women’s rights throughout his career.  Sen. Franken reached out to Minnesota NOW early in his campaign for our insight on feminist federal legislations–the only candidate for Senate to do so.  Since taking office, Sen. Franken has put his commitment to equality into action.

  • Voted for the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
  • Co-sponsored legislation that prohibits federal contractors from requiring employees who are victims of sexual assaults to seek justice through arbitation, not criminal court
  • Sponsored the Justice for Sexual Assault Survivors Act of 2009, to address the backlog of untested DNA rape kits and to ensure victims are not financially responsible for the kits
  • Voted against the Stupak Amendment to health care reform, accusing Re. Stupak of “[using] the health care bill as a bludgeon, restricting women’s health choices in a bill that was meant to expand them.”
  • Announced in April that he’s developing a bill that will address anti-LGBT bullying in schools, stating: “the evidence is that gay kids are bullied a lot and that their achievement goes down. There’s a lot of absenteeism and even suicide.”

We at Minnesota NOW welcome Sen. Franken’s thoughts on how we can work together to MOVE EQUALITY FORWARD!

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