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Minn. AFL-CIO united in opposition to anti-gay marriage amendment

The Minnesota AFL-CIO, the state’s labor federation, voted on Monday to oppose a ballot measure that would add a ban on same-sex marriage to the Minnesota Constitution. The vote of the general board was unanimous, and the AFF-CIO is the first organization in the labor movement in Minnesota to come out against the amendment, which will be on the ballot in 2012. The AFL-CIO is made up of 1,000 affiliated local unions and represents more than 300,000 workers.

“The labor movement is, and has always been about protecting and advancing the rights of all people,” Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson said in a statement on Monday. “We will not stand by and allow discrimination to become part of Minnesota’s constitution.”

Here’s full text of the resolution passed on Monday.

Opposition to 2012 Ballot Question Recognizing Marriage as Only Between One Man and One Woman

WHEREAS: Whereas, the mission of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families and to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state; and

WHEREAS: Trade unionists believe that civil rights are vital to a just society and all families should have access to the benefits they need and deserve; and

WHEREAS: The United States General Accounting Office has documented that over 1,000 federal benefits and protections acquired by civil marriage are not available to same sex couples; including the ability to collect social security benefits, pension or death benefits in the event of a partner’s death, ability to receive benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act to care for a sick partner or child; and

WHEREAS: State-sanctioned civil marriage provides rights and responsibilities set out in over 500 Minnesota laws available to opposite sex couples, but not same sex couples; including negotiated health coverage for state and local public employees, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits paid to a survivors, and laws affecting couples during illness and even death; and

WHEREAS: Trade unionists believe that our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters undeniably deserve the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts; and

WHEREAS: The Minnesota Constitution has never been amended to discriminate against any group of people by denying them civil rights; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the Minnesota AFL-CIO opposes the 2012 general election ballot question recognizing marriage as only between one man and one woman.

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