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America's Unions Applaud Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

America's Unions Applaud Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage Equality

In the wake of today's historic Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, organizations representing working families applauded the ruling. Here are the statements and tweets released on Friday.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler:

Today’s Supreme Court decision marks a truly historic day in America. While there is still work to do to secure economic and social justice for LGBT Americans, the court’s ruling is a major victory for everyone who believes in equality. Same-sex couples will now have equal access to marriage licenses like any other couple. This ruling is a win for children, families, workers and our entire country. 

Pride At Work Executive Director Jerame Davis:

Today’s momentous victory in the Supreme Court has affirmed what we already knew—the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law and that includes the right to marry for same-sex couples. We are ecstatic that this ruling will finally deliver equality and justice to families in every state of our great nation. We hope the states will move quickly to implement this ruling.

The opponents of marriage equality have predicted doom and despair at each stage of this long journey to equality, but love and commitment are not values that undermine our national heritage. Today’s ruling underscores the importance of marriage in our society and upholds the dignity and value of the lives of LGBTQ Americans.

But we are not done. In 29 states, same-sex couples who take advantage of their right to wed may face serious complications with their job, housing and public accommodations. The very real possibility that a worker could marry the person they love on Saturday and then get fired from their job Monday morning when they show pictures around the water cooler is a looming threat to many workers who do not enjoy the protections of a union collective bargaining agreement. While a union contract will protect workers in the workplace, not every workplace is a union shop, which is why we need a comprehensive national non-discrimination law to protect these workers on the job, at home and in the public square.

We have won a major victory today, but the backlash will be swift. Our comrades in the labor movement rejoice with us in our victory and will stand with us to fight the battles ahead. We are one union and one nation. Both are stronger today.

Actors' Equity:


AFGE National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Augusta Y. Thomas:

AFGE applauds today’s Supreme Court ruling declaring that same-sex couples across the country have a constitutional right to marry. This was the right decision for the country and the right decision for everyone who believes in the principles of fairness, equality and basic human dignity.

As the largest union representing federal and D.C. government employees, AFGE represents people across the social and political spectrum, including many LGBT members. Just two weeks ago, AFGE was proud to march for the first time in the 2015 Capital Pride Parade—the only labor union to participate. For years, our AFGE Pride Program has been working toward fair treatment and equality for LGBT employees in the government workplace.

AFGE and the Women’s and Fair Practices Departments believe in equal rights and protections for all of our members, and today’s Supreme Court decision brings us one step closer to that goal.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders:

Today is a momentous day. Together as a nation we took a dramatic step toward the ideals of equality and freedom. Today, brave Americans who were unafraid to stand up and organize for their basic rights proved once again the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.

AFT President Randi Weingarten

From Loving to Windsor to today, love has won. As people start seeing one another’s real aspirations and dreams for all our families and our communities, as well as for ourselves, we see that the arc of history does bend toward justice.

And while this is a day of celebration, there is more work to do in our fight for full equality. As a gay woman and union leader, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my union—an ally in the struggle for rights and a shield from unfair discrimination in the workplace.

From talking with LGBT members throughout the country, I know the importance of ensuring that there are comprehensive federal nondiscrimination protections in place. Without these protections, same-sex couples who have the right to marry in their home state will still be at risk of being fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartments based simply on who they are. We will continue the fight forward.

Amalgamated Transit Union:


Association of Flight Attendants-CWA:

Today is a monumental day for women and men across the country who have entered into the institution of marriage but struggled for equal treatment under the law. The Supreme Court agrees with a majority of Americans that we must put an end to this shameful discrimination. 

For nearly 40 years, AFA has been a leader in our commitment to equality of all individuals, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Today’s ruling solidified what Americans understand: the freedom to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to everyone.  

Now, we encourage all state officials to act quickly to implement the court’s order so all couples will be granted the freedom to marry as well as equal respect for their marriages across the country. This ruling is a big win for equality, but there’s still more to be done. We’ll continue to secure additional advances toward equality especially nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

Communications Workers of America: 




National Nurses United:


Theatrical Stage Employees:


United Food and Commercial Workers President Mark Perrone

Today, marriage equality is finally the law of the land. This decision secures equality and dignity for every family in all fifty states. Our UFCW family strongly supports full equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people—not just the right of all people to marry the person they love, but also equal rights when it comes to employment and immigration policies. It is a historic victory that was simply unimaginable just two decades ago.

While we are celebrating today, it’s worth remembering that there is still a lot of work be done before LGBT people have full equality under the law. In a majority of states, there is nothing to prevent a worker from being discriminated against or fired simply because of who they love, or because of their gender identity or expression. And LGBT workers’ partners and families can be unfairly excluded from workplace policies and benefits like health coverage or family leave.

A UFCW union contract is often the only protection LGBT workers and their families have from these indignities. The UFCW is proud to play a part in the growing momentum toward equality—from bargaining union contracts that recognize LGBT workers and their families, to fighting for change at the state level, to marching in solidarity at pride parades and celebrations in towns across America.

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard

In a 5–4 decision today, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in the United States. The United Steelworkers applaud the court for upholding the14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law. This is a historic day, and we are proud especially for our LGBT members. This victory confirms the principles of our union that regardless of the color of a person’s skin, regardless of religion or nationality, and no matter who a person loves, discrimination has no place in our union or in our society.

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