MN AFL-CIO Opposed Anti-LGBT Amendment

The General Board of the Minnesota AFL-CIO voted unanimously on a resolution calling for the union to oppose a marriage amendment to the state’s constitution that will go to the voters in 2012. The anti-LGBT amendment would define marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman. The Matthew Shepard Foundation strongly supports marriage equality for all couples and we are glad to see the MinnesotaAFL-CIO values this equality. The text of the resolution follows.

WHEREAS:  Whereas, the mission of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families and to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state; and
WHEREAS:  Trade unionists believe that civil rights are vital to a just society and all families should have access to the benefits they need and deserve; and
WHEREAS:  The United States General Accounting Office has documented that over 1,000 federal benefits and protections acquired by civil marriage are not available to same sex couples; including the ability to collect social security benefits, pension or death benefits in the event of a partner’s death, ability to receive benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a sick partner or child; and
WHEREAS:  State-sanctioned civil marriage provides rights and responsibilities set out in over 500 Minnesota laws  available to opposite sex couples, but not same sex couples; including negotiated health coverage for state and local public employees, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits paid to a survivors, and laws affecting couples during illness and even death; and
WHEREAS:  Trade unionists believe that our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters undeniably deserve the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts; and
WHEREAS:  The Minnesota Constitution has never been amended to discriminate against any group of people by denying them civil rights; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED:  That the Minnesota AFL-CIO opposes the 2012 general election ballot question recognizing marriage as only between one man and one woman.

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