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Standing Together for Equality

As trade unionists, we believe in inclusion and equality. While great strides have been made in recent years, basic rights remain unsecured and virulent right-wing homophobia remains commonplace.

On June 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’s “Homosexual Conduct” law, which criminalized consensual sex between gay couples and has been widely used to justify discrimination against lesbians and gay men. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy reiterated a previous court position, “Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”

The 6-3 decision in Lawrence v. Texas is the most significant ruling ever for lesbian and gay Americans’ civil rights. This historic case recognizes that love, sexuality and family play the same role in gay people’s lives as they do for everyone else. It has also accelerated important discussions in America about the definition of family, marriage, and equal rights for all.

Not surprisingly, the radical right, led by dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia, is now engaged in a vengeful backlash against progress for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. A coalition of right-wing religious groups has launched a campaign to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, invalidate all state and local domestic partnership laws and nullify civil rights protections based on marital status, thus discriminating against groups of citizens.

Everyone has the right to participate fully and equally in our society and to enjoy the benefits and freedoms thereof. Unions have been a leading voice in ending discrimination through groundbreaking contracts that have paved the way for thousands of workers to receive domestic partner benefits for their families.

Resolved: Pride At Work calls upon our elected representatives at all levels of government to resist enacting further barriers to equal rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Resolved: Pride At Work calls upon the AFL-CIO, its affiliates, and independent labor organizations to adopt such a policy position.

Respectfully submitted,

T Santora
Pride At Work Executive Board (CWA Representative)
Baltimore-Washington Chapter

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