Albany, NY, June 1, 2011—Today representatives from Capital District Area Labor Federation, CSEA, Public Employees Federation, New York State United Teachers, SEIU, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #2, and Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement joined Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Ross D. Levi in the LCA Press Room to call on the Legislature to pass a marriage bill this session.
"The organized labor movement in this state and a majority of New Yorkers believe the denial of marriage equality hurts not just individuals, but also family members, neighbors and co-workers who care about the well-being of same-sex couples and the children they care for. While some measures have been taken to bring recognition to these families, there is no substitute for marriage. No legal mechanism for protecting families is as widely accepted or has as clear legal precedent and meaning as marriage. Continuing to deny access to marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples discriminates against them and relegates them to second-class citizenship," said Mary Sullivan, President, Capital District Area Labor Federation. "The time for action, and passage, of marriage equality legislation is now.”
“This is a defining civil rights issue of our time,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue. “We are announcing our support of the Marriage Equality Act in the hope that it will encourage state lawmakers to search their consciences and do what is right to approve this legislation.”
“The Public Employees Federation strongly supports the passage of the marriage bill," said PEF Vice-President Thomas Comanzo. "The time is now for the New York State Legislature to pass this law and eliminate the second-class-citizen status forced upon tens of thousands of people who are law-abiding, tax-paying voters who support the localities, counties and cities where they live in our fair state."
Lee Cutler, Secretary Treasurer of NYSUT affirms "Being able to marry the person whom you choose is a basic human right. NYSUT supports human rights in all areas and has been an outspoken leader on LGBT issues. I confirm here today that it is this union’s position to support full marriage equality for all."
"On behalf of the over 12,000 families represented by SEIU Local 200United, my fellow officers and I fully support the issue of marriage equality," said Mike Lonigro, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU. "We will not accept anything less than total equality. As we speak, we are in contract negotiations where we are demanding, among other things, the right for employees to make their same-sex partners in life eligible pension beneficiaries. Marriage equality in New York State would make this a non issue and would free us up to negotiate for other important matters. I urge the New York State Legislature to pass this legislation before the end of session.”
"It is the position of our union that all New Yorkers should be free to pursue their life goals; this includes the freedom to marry the love of one's life," said Prairie Wells, Political Director, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local #2. "It is time for the New York State Senate to take a stand for fairness and pass this bill."
"As members of the labor movement and a community that defends social justice on many levels, the local chapter of LCLAA, the Latin Council for Latin American Advancement is firmly in support of marriage equality in New York State," said Philippe Abraham, Chair of the Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. "We support the right of all people to be treated fairly under the law, and specifically of all committed couples to marry in New York State."
“We are honored and proud to have our sisters and brothers from organized labor as partners in our fight to allow all loving, committed couples to marry in New York State,” said Empire State Pride Agenda Executive Director Ross D. Levi. “Unions have long stood for fairness for all, and for ensuring that our society treats everyone with dignity and respect. That is why it is fitting that unions -- along with most New Yorkers from across the state and from many different backgrounds – support marriage equality.”
FULL LIST OF UNION SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE >