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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 21, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 42
UFCW 21 endorses marriage equality
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UFCW 21 endorses marriage equality

from Pride At Work - Special to the SGN

The executive board of United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 21, has voted to endorse marriage equality.

UFCW 21 is the largest private-sector union in Washington, with more than 38,000 members working in grocery store, retail, health care, meat processing, and other industry jobs.

The union 'has a long tradition of supporting equality and this is just the latest demonstration of that principle,' said UFCW 21 Communications Director Tom Geiger.

UFCW 21 was a major coalition partner in the Approve Referendum 71 campaign, which saved Washington state's domestic partnership law from repeal, dedicating paid staff time and its state-of-the-art phone-banking system to the campaign. It has also fought for and won same-sex domestic partner rights for members in its collective bargaining agreements.

'In the 2012 legislative session, it is expected that a marriage equality piece of legislation will be introduced,' Geiger continued. 'That legislation will have the strong support of UFCW 21.

'Domestic partnerships were a giant step forward and provided working families with important protections. However, only marriage can provide Gay and Lesbian couples and their children legal rights that provide essential protections such as Social Security, spousal, and survivor benefits.'

In 2006, some 25 labor unions and the Martin Luther King County Labor Council signed on to amicus briefs supporting marriage equality in the Andersen v. King County case.

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