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King County Labor Council opposes Obama's choice of Rick Warren
King County Labor Council opposes Obama's choice of Rick Warren
On Friday, December 19, Executive Secretary Dave Freiboth of the Martin Luther King County Labor Council sent the following note to President-Elect Obama's transition team:

Dear President-Elect Obama,

On behalf of the 75,000 working men and women of the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council, AFL-CIO, in Washington State, I am writing to object to your choice of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration. As you know, Pastor Warren was a very vocal supporter of California's Proposition 8, which stripped existing legal rights from a protected class of citizens. Several times he has publicly compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia, and plural marriage. He is also a vocal opponent of reproductive choice.

You, as a supporter of equal rights for women and the LGBT community, should not give Pastor Warren this opportunity, nor should you insult the feelings of some of your strongest supporters on the first day of your new administration.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Sincerely,
David Freiboth

Representing about 150 union locals and other labor organizations, including AFL-CIO constituency groups like Pride At Work, the MLKCLC has historically supported equal rights for LGBT workers. The MLKCLC was one of the labor organizations signing on to amicus briefs supporting marriage equality when the Andersen case was decided by the state Supreme Court. Recently the MLKCLC amended its bylaws to add representation on its Executive Board for constituency groups representing minority communities, including Pride At Work.

While this is not yet the universal practice in union contracts, many MLKCLC member unions have included language in their contracts requiring equal health, pension, and other benefits for same-sex domestic partners as for married spouses. Many union contracts also include anti-discrimination language protecting LGBT workers.

Pride At Work is the LGBT constituency organization of the AFL-CIO. It includes members of both AFL-CIO and Change To Win unions, as well as non-union allies. Pride At Work recently united with several other LGBT organizations including the NGLTF, HRC, NCTE, Stonewall Democrats, and the National Youth Advocacy Coalition to urge passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The Martin Luther King County Chapter of Pride At Work can be contacted through its Secretary-Treasurer Mike Andrew at 206-261-8110.

Courtesy of Pride At Work AFL-CIO, Martin Luther King County Chapter

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