For immediate release
August 4, 2010
As a union that has long stood for full equality for LGBT people, UNITE HERE International Union hails today’s federal court decision striking down California’s Proposition 8. UNITE HERE agrees with Judge Walker’s decision that Proposition 8 violates due process and equal protection guaranteed under the Constitution.
UNITE HERE President John W. Wilhelm noted, "We have long stood with the LGBT community in the fight for full equality. We see the Proposition 8 decision as a basic issue of economic justice. We count among our members many LGBT workers in California whose basic dignity was re-affirmed today. Due to Judge Walker’s historic decision, LGBT workers will now enjoy the same basic respect and dignity as all other Californians as well as the economic fairness that true equality brings. We were proud to be part of the fight to defeat Proposition 8 in 2008 and are overjoyed to see today’s ruling."
Cleve Jones, longtime LGBT activist and UNITE HERE organizer, is on the Advisory Board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that filed the case in today’s decision.
Cleve Jones noted, "Judge Walker’s decision to overturn Proposition 8 is a proud day for LGBT people and Californians who believe in fairness and equality. Still, despite Judge Walker’s ruling, LGBT people remain second class citizens throughout the U.S. and have little to no access to rights and services granted by the Federal Government. Today we celebrate the overturning of the discriminatory Proposition 8, but tomorrow we continue to fight for civil rights granted by the Federal Government. To win full civil rights on the Federal level we must continue to cultivate allies in the Labor Movement, Latino and African-American communities and among low wage workers."
UNITE HERE was among the first International Unions to endorse full civil marriage rights for all Americans and continues to be part of efforts to expand equality for LGBT Americans on the federal level. UNITE HERE contributed to the 2008 effort to defeat Proposition 8.