Washington, DC —
“President Obama’s announcement today recognizes a fundamental American right – that every citizen is entitled to respect and dignity, and the equal protection of our laws. For too long, lesbian and gay Americans have been denied the right to marry the person they love, raise a family and live as equal citizens in our country. They are denied access to pension benefits, Social Security survivor benefits, family health and bereavement leave and family immigration rights. That discrimination harms all of us, not just LGBT Americans. We have an obligation to work to overturn unjust laws and amendments to state constitutions that codify prejudice and promote discrimination against fellow citizens. The President deserves praise for recognizing that this issue is about equality under the law and the right of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination.”
AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.