The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lisa Bennett, 202-628-8669, ext. 123; cell 202-641-1906

In Memoriam: NOW Mourns Loss of Women's Rights Champion Senator Ted Kennedy


The National Organization for Women is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy, the revered Democrat from Massachusetts. A dedicated public servant, Ted Kennedy was a champion of civil rights, women's equality, voting rights, economic justice, disability rights, reproductive freedom and so much more.

"We lost a true legislative hero in Ted Kennedy -- a defender of women, children and all those who are discriminated against and underserved in this country," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "We have Kennedy to thank for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He was a great leader in the fight for health care reform, and I only hope that we can honor him by passing real reform designed to benefit the people -- not insurance CEOs."

Kennedy was committed to creating a level playing field for all, especially those who traditionally have been denied access to the American dream. He will be an extremely hard act to follow.

"NOW calls on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and state officials to follow Kennedy's wishes and take the necessary action to allow for the senator's seat to be filled until a special election can take place," said O'Neill. "We urge that this replacement be a strong supporter of the broad range of social justice issues that Kennedy advocated for throughout the last half century."

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.