WASHINGTON - June 28 - Pride At Work, AFL-CIO applauds the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on passage of a marriage equality resolution at their convention last week. SEIU, representing 1.7 million members and 120,000 retirees, is the AFL-CIO's largest and fastest growing union. This move by SEIU follows the adoption of the similar resolutions by several of their local unions around the country.
The resolution introduced by the SEIU International Executive Board states:
"This contention affirms SEIU's commitment to equal rights for all our members regardless of sexual orientation.
SEIU will make it a collective bargaining and legislative goal to ensure that all members enjoy equal rights and benefits.
SEIU will support the right of same sex couples to access the full and equal rights responsibilities and commitments of civil marriage and oppose laws in constitutional amendments that deny that right.
SEIU will resist any attempt by anti-worker forces to use this issue in elections this year or beyond to divide working people in order to elect candidates with proven track records of favoring corporate special interests at the expense of working families."
"It is energizing to see unions backing up the claim that they stand for the rights of all workers," said Josh Cazares, Co-President of Pride At Work, "Labor Unions have a long history of protecting workers, and SEIU's resolution is included in this proud tradition."
In addition to the SEIU marriage equality resolution, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) both passed anti-Federal Marriage Amendment resolutions at their respective conventions last week. Endorsed by President Bush, the Federal Marriage Constitutional Amendment will be brought up for a vote in the United States Senate this July. The Federal Marriage Amendment would permanently enshrine in the United States Constitution discrimination against one group of Americans. If passed, the Amendment would make it impossible for labor unions and employers to offer equitable benefits packages to all their members and employees. For a full listing of unions who have taken a stand against the Federal Marriage Constitutional Amendment, please visit the Pride At Work website at http://www.prideatwork.org
The General Accounting Office has identified over 1,000 benefits and protections under federal law alone to which married couples are entitled. Many, such as Social Security benefits and workers' compensation, derive from an individual's employment status. The clear discrimination in not allowing same-sex couples' relationships to be recognized by law deprives thousands of families of one of the most important attributes of their labor; the ability to take care and provide for their family members.
Pride At Work is a constituency group (community or identity group) affiliated with the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Pride At Work is committed to mobilizing mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities around organizing for social, racial, and economic justice.