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June 30, 2004

SEIU Endorses Gay Marriage

Once upon a time, the Democrats were described as a party divided between culturally conservative unions versus McGovernite cultural liberals.

Well, that's pretty much over.

At its national executive board meeting, SEIU took a strong leadership role by endorsing gay marriage in tough language:

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.

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...

SEIU will 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.

It's worth emphasizing that the progressive coalition is not tied together merely by hating Bush and the Right. They share a broad-based set of values and mutual respect for a range of policies.

It is the rightwing-- encompassing culturally liberal corporate types versus populist religious evangelicals -- that are united only by fear and hatred of the Left.

Posted by Nathan at June 30, 2004 05:47 AM