Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How is Protecting the Victims of Gang Rape a Partisan Issue?

Last week, Senator Franken introduced an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that would forbid defense contracts to corporations that restrict their employees to a process of binding arbitration instead of court even in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination.

Here is some background on one case involving a brave young woman named Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang raped by her fellow Halliburton/KBR employees back in 2005, and has been fighting for the past 4 years to have her day in court.

Jones could not bring charges in court against KBR, because her employment contract only allowed her to bring those type of allegations to a private binding arbitration. No jury of her peers.

You would think this is just the kind of issue that would get all 100 votes in the Senate right? Wrong.

Senator Franken's amendment passed with only 10 of the 40 Republicans in the Senate voting for it. Forgive me for being upset about this but WHY ARE 30 REPUBLICANS VOTING AGAINST THIS?! Full roll call for this amendment is here.

Here is Senator Franken's moving floor speech:

Here is an incredible clip of Senator Franken questioning KBR's representative who thinks Ms. Jones did already have her day in court (he is talking about the past 4 years) and that she should be limited to binding arbitration where the outcome and details of the alleged crime are kept secret. Clearly, he doesn't have any daughters (my two cents). Ms. Jones is also in this clip and she is officially my new hero.

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