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Delaware Labor Unions Back Marriage Equality

AFSCME: 'We represent all working families, not just some families'


Wilmington – Three major Delaware labor unions - representing 40,000 Delawareans – have endorsed marriage equality. The Delaware State AFL-CIO, the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council and the Delaware Public Employees Council 81-AFSCME have each voted to support a marriage equality bill once it is introduced in the General Assembly this session.

“We are proud that these major labor unions have thrown their considerable weight behind marriage equality,” said Lisa Goodman, President of Equality Delaware.  “The labor movement has long stood for treating all people with dignity and respect, and for fighting for fairness. This type of support makes it clearer every day that this is the year for marriage equality in Delaware."

“We call on the General Assembly to pass a marriage equality bill this year,” said Michael A. Begatto, Executive Director of Delaware Public Employees Council 81 – AFSCME, which represents Delaware’s public sector employees. “Marriage equality is an issue that is important to our organization. We represent all working families, not just some families. We believe all Delawareans should be treated fairly, including having the freedom to marry the person they love.”

Organized labor's support for marriage equality has been critical in the passage of same-sex marriage bills in a number of state legislatures and in winning ballot measures on marriage last year.

Harry Gravell, President of the Delaware Building & Construction Trades Council, stated,  “On behalf of the nearly 5000 trades households statewide, we stand firm in the belief that all Delawareans should be treated with fundamental fairness.  Now is the time to pass a marriage bill."

A bill approving marriage licenses for committed gay and lesbian couples is expected to come before the General Assembly this session, and has the full support of Governor Jack Markell.

"Our board in Delaware has formally voted to support marriage equality," said Samuel E. Lathem, President of the Delaware State AFL-CIO. “This vote is entirely consistent with the long and proud history of the AFL-CIO in working to advance social justice and equality for all people.”

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For more information please contact:

Lisa Goodman 302-743-7777

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