One of the state’s largest and most powerful unions is urging legislators to legalize same-sex marriage this year.
“Everyone should be able to marry the person they love,” said Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5. “No one should be singled out and denied the economic protections and cultural privileges associated with matrimony. There is no substitute for marriage – civil unions are separate and unequal.”
The union support could be crucial as same-sex marriage supporters try to lock down the votes necessary to make Minnesota the 10th state to legalize such unions. The union has 43,000 members and an ability to quickly reach thousands of like-minded Minnesotans through phone banks and other campaign-style messaging.
Seide the union’s decision to support same-sex marriage was unanimous.
“Same-sex couples pay taxes in Minnesota. They vote here, run businesses here, and serve in our military,” he said. “They work hard and contribute to our communities, and they have children who deserve to grow up in stable families with married parents.”
The union for government workers has led the fight for human rights and civil rights, Seide said.
“Now it’s time for loving same-sex couples to have the freedom to marry in the state they call home,” he said.