AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, marriage is a unique, social institution of civil society, regulated and administered by the state, and separate and distinct from religious, ethnic or other traditions; and


WHEREAS, marriage bestows state and federal rights, protections and responsibilities to heterosexual persons and their families that are currently unavailable to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons and their families; and


WHEREAS, children are being raised within all types of families; and


WHEREAS, U.S. law should not privilege the families of heterosexual couples over families of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered persons; and


WHEREAS, the opportunity to publicly and legally commit and receive public and legal acknowledgment of a private decision to share one's life with a person of one's choice is, for many persons, one of the most central aspects of human experience; therefore, the denial of marriage to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons is the denial of a fundamental civil right; and


WHEREAS, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered persons and their families deserve the same rights and legal protections as other families under the law, including the protection of children's economic interests by insuring legal access to the resources of both parents; and


WHEREAS, the inability to access these legal protections results in significant damage to these families, including financial insecurity, lack of insurance and other benefits, and access to the court system should dissolution occur; and


WHEREAS, discriminatory marriage laws sanction and perpetuate discrimination and homophobia, just as earlier, anti-miscegenation laws supported and perpetuated racism and social ostracism; and


WHEREAS, discriminatory marriage laws undermine the constitutional provision of equality, privacy and justice for all persons; and


WHEREAS, the state's responsibility to enforce anti-discrimination policies should permit all families to enjoy similar rights and privileges:


RESOLVED, that the AFT oppose the proposed discriminatory constitutional amendment to limit civil marriages to heterosexual couples; and


RESOLVED, that the AFT support policies and legislation that remove references to sex and gender as eligibility requirements for a civil marriage license, providing for equal access to marriage and all of its legal and economic privileges and obligations, to all consenting adult persons, regardless of sex, gender-identity, sexual orientation or affectional preference.