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State Labor Council endorses Marriage Equality Act

OLYMPIA (Feb. 1) — The Washington State Labor Council, the state’s largest labor organization representing some 425,000 union workers, today announced its support of the Marriage Equality Act (SB 6239 and HB 2516), which would make Washington the seventh state to recognize same-sex marriages. The legislation was officially endorsed in a special poll vote of the WSLC’s Executive Board finalized today.

“This past year has been one of great struggle for working people,” said WSLC President Jeff Johnson. “Across the nation working people came together with community partners under the banner ‘We Are One’ to stand up for jobs and for social justice for all. We are stronger when we stand together as working people, and in this spirit of solidarity, the WSLC stands together with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Brothers and Sisters in support of the Marriage Equality Act. There can never be true justice and equality, unless it applies to all of us.”

The Marriage Equality Act, which has moved unexpectedly fast in the 2012 session, could come to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as tonight. Johnson said the WSLC Executive Board had expected to vote on the matter at its quarterly meeting next week in Olympia, but a special poll vote was taken in light of the pending votes.

“It is time that LGBT couples are afforded the same civil rights as other couples in Washington State,” said Lee Malinda, a WSLC Vice President representing Pride at Work. “I am proud to say that the Washington State Labor Council is committed to the equality and civil rights of all Washingtonians. Fighting for equal rights for all is at the core of who we are in the labor movement.”

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law since 2007 and an “everything but marriage” expansion of the domestic partnership law since 2009.

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