MIAMI – As the AFL-CIO Executive Council gathers in Miami this week, hearing addresses from Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis dealing with the economic crisis and its impact on workers across the country, the Executive Council has spoken up again for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers by passing a resolution, in unanimity, calling on the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8.
The resolution strengthens a previous resolution, passed in 2005 that called for the full inclusion and equal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the workplace. The most recent resolution, passed yesterday, on the eve of the day that the California Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case, states that Prop 8, “ended the right to marry enjoyed by gay and lesbian couples in California and cast a cloud over the legal status of thousands of California marriages…depriving one class of citizens of rights enjoyed by all others.”
The National AFL-CIO follows the lead of the California labor movement, which has vociferously opposed the passage of Proposition 8. In July 2008, the California Federation of Labor, in a resolution introduced by Pride At Work Co-President T Santora, mandated that unions include information opposing Proposition 8 on union slate cards and other election materials. In 2006, the California Federation Labor called for an end to marriage discrimination and for marriage equality for LGBT workers. California labor unions donated millions of dollars to the campaign to defeat Proposition 8. Most recently, over 50 unions in California signed an amicus brief, calling on the California Supreme Court to invalidate Proposition 8.
“I applaud the AFL-CIO on their continuing support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers within, and outside, the Federation,” said Nancy Wohlforth, Pride At Work Co-President and AFL-CIO Executive Council Member. “Denying LGBT couples the right to marry has tremendous impact on the ability of LGBT workers to access full parity in the workplace. Many benefits that heterosexual workers take for granted, such as FMLA, sick and bereavement leave, healthcare benefits, and pension benefits are routinely denied to LGBT couples because they cannot legally marry.
Invalidating Proposition 8 is the only way to bring LGBT workers in California full equality in the workplace and beyond.”
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 11 million members, including 2.5 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. Pride At Work advances the issues of importance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers within all labor unions, including the AFL-CIO, Change To Win Federation, and independent unions.