Illinois Federation of Teachers Resolution in Support of Civil Marriage
Status: Adopted in 2005.
RESOLUTION NO. 12
SUPPORT CIVIL MARRIAGE FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS AND OPPOSE THE FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENT
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 people of color, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, seniors, and others; 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-intentioned, create an unequal legal status for same-sex couples that extends only a few of the state and local-level protections and benefits afforded “spouses” in heterosexual marriage; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that this convention affirms the Illinois Federation of Teachers’ commitment to equal rights for all our 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 oppose laws and constitutional amendments that deny that right; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that the IFT resist any attempt by anti-worker forces to use this issue to divide working people in order to elect candidates with proven track records of favoring corporate special interests at the expense of working families.