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Resolution No. 36 - Marrage Equality

MARRIAGE EQUALITY
Submitted by: American Federation of Teachers Local 604

WHEREAS, while members of the Illinois Federation of Teachers have a variety of views about marriage, according to their personal or religious beliefs, it is a fundamental, uniting principle of our organization that all people are entitled to equal rights; and

WHEREAS, many of our members have participated over the years – both as union members and in their communities – in movements for equal rights for all people; and

WHEREAS, in doing so, we have often embraced movements for equal rights that were controversial at the time and that opponents of working people’s interests tried to use as wedge issues to divide our strength; and

WHEREAS, as a union, we have a particular responsibility to protect equal rights in connection with collective bargaining, economic benefits, legislation, and any employer or government action that affects IFT members; and

WHEREAS, in that spirit, IFT has a long history of support for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that lack of access to marriage deprives gay and lesbian working families of more than 1,000 rights and benefits afforded heterosexual families, such as spousal Social Security and pension benefits, hospital visitation rights, spousal health insurance, immigration rights, and many other federal, state, and local protections, as well as rights in the workplace; and

WHEREAS, civil union and domestic partnership laws, while well-intended, create an unequal legal status for same-sex couples that extended only a few of the state and local-level protections and benefits afforded “spouses” in heterosexual marriage; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge that same-sex couples in Illinois may travel to other states that have marriage equality laws, we recognize that not all can afford to do so; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that this convention affirms the Illinois Federation of Teachers’ commitment to equal rights for all members, regardless of sexual orientation; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT make it a collective bargaining and legislative goal to ensure that all members enjoy equal rights and benefits; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the IFT support the right of same-sex couples to access the full and equal rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that the IFT support the passage of marriage equality in Illinois.

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