AFT leaders, members, staff and friends marched on March 26 from union headquarters to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, where the high court was beginning two days of arguments in landmark cases that could make marriage rights for same-sex couples—backed by a clear majority of Americans—the long-overdue law of the land.
The large AFT contingent joined thousands of other activists and urged the Supreme Court to live up to the words chiseled in its building—"Equal Justice Under Law"—as they heard challenges to Proposition 8, the California law that retroactively invalidates same-sex marriage in the state, and the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that excludes gay couples from getting the same benefits that other married couples receive.
The AFT and the entire labor movement are "proud to stand up and speak out for equal rights for all Americans. ... Those are the values we teach children," AFT executive vice president Francine Lawrence told the crowd. We "must no longer be a nation that denies loving, committed couples the same basic rights" that other Americans enjoy.
"The Supreme Court has a historic opportunity," Lawrence said, "to stand up for love, commitment and equality—to say unambiguously that, in the United States of America, discrimination in any form is intolerable, and to demonstrate to our children that love is love and that we are a nation that strives to live up to the values and promises we were founded on."
See more photos from the rally and follow us on Instagram. [Mike Rose, AFT photo]
March 26, 2013