Speaking the Language of Marriage: A Labor Perspective
Over its long history, the labor movement has stood up for the equal protection of all workers. In that same vein, labor is committed to the fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers. Ending the unfair denial of full marriage rights to same-sex couples is necessary for workers to provide the security and stability of marriage for their loved ones.
The exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage is a labor issue. For couples that have worked their whole lives, the lack of access to marriage can deeply affect their economic situation. The inequalities facing same-sex couples are substantial when it comes to their ability to plan for their futures and pass on wealth. Unlike married couples, committed same-sex partners are denied the substantial Social Security spousal and survivor benefits earned by a deceased partner. Other disparities include health insurance coverage, tax-qualified retirement plans, and employee pensions.
“Refusing to legally recognize same-sex relationships deprives thousands of families of the most important attributes of their labor; the ability to take care of and provide for their family members.
Opponents of working people's interests use marriage as a wedge issue to divide our strength.
Same-sex couples are devoted to each other, they love each other, they have kids and they love their families. Since marriage is the way the government provides protection, support, and respect for families, it's only fair that these families get those things too.”
— Pride at Work
Blog Posts Related to Labor and Workplace
Today, Freedom to Marry and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates released a report revealing that the remaining patchwork of marriage laws for same-sex couples across the United States is costing businesses in the private sector $1.3 billion every year.
Today, travel company Expedia announced their support for Washington's Referendum 74, the ballot measure to uphold the freedom to marry throughout the state. They're now the latest of dozens of businesses to speak out in support of the state's marriage law.
This week, Washington United for Marriage, the coalition working to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot in Washington state, celebrated Unions Week by heralding the essential support that Referendum 74 has received from unions and labor organizations.
Resources Related to Labor and Workplace
A memo on the unique needs of LGBT older adults and the policy and regulatory changes needed to address them.
Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality Maryland, and the American Civil Liberties Union: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Guide for same-sex couples in Maryland who married out of state.
Report from HRC detailing LGBT inclusive workplace policies and companies, updated for 2010.