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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 4, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 44
Labor Council reaffirms support for marriage equality
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Labor Council reaffirms support for marriage equality

Special to the SGN - Courtesy of Pride At Work

The executive board of the Martin Luther King County Labor Council voted unanimously on November 3 to reaffirm its support for marriage equality.

The MLKCLC also committed to lobby for a marriage equality bill expected to be introduced in the 2012 state legislative session, and to encourage its affiliated unions to do the same.

The MLKCLC is made up of some 150 affiliated unions, representing more than 75,000 workers in King County.

The action was taken on a resolution submitted by Pride At Work, an LGBT labor organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

Pride At Work argued in its resolution that 'LGBT workers deserve the right to provide for their partners and their families in the same way and at the same level as straight workers.'

While Washington state has a robust domestic partnership law, the Pride At Work resolution said, 'domestic partnerships in Washington state still do not provide all the rights of marriage for committed same-sex couples, including equal rights to health care, pensions, and death benefits.'

The MLKCLC is no stranger to the issue of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. It first endorsed marriage equality in a resolution passed on April 21, 2004.

In 2006, the MLKCLC was one of 23 labor organizations signing on to an amicus brief supporting marriage equality in Andersen v King County. Most of the others were unions affiliated with the MLKCLC.

MLKCLC Executive Secretary Dave Freiboth, then newly elected to his post, signed the brief in 2006, and lent his support to the Pride At Work resolution.

'We have to keep coming back to this,' Freiboth said, 'to chip away at the opposition. It's a civil rights issue, and a workers' rights issue, and it's important to labor.'

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