National Institute for Labor Relations Research
NILRR’s primary function is to act as a research facility for the general public, scholars and students. It provides the supplementary analysis and research necessary to expose the inequities of compulsory unionism.
It publishes research papers designed to stimulate research and discussion with easy-to-read summaries of current events. NILRR also conducts nonpartisan analysis and study for the benefit of the general public.
It will render aid gratuitously to individuals suffering from government over-regulation of labor relations and will provide educational assistance to those individuals who have proved themselves worthy thereof.
Recently Released Fact Sheet
Can a Faithful Catholic Today Belong, in Good Conscience, to Any Large, U.S.-Based Union?
By Stan Greer
(click to download pdf copy)
Few Democratic Party constituencies were quicker and more vociferous than the union brass in commending President Barack Obama’s announcement on May 9, 2012, endorsing state court decisions and statutes that change the traditional definition of marriage by formally instituting same-sex unions.
The top bosses of the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and a host of other unions all issued statements clearly implying that all right-thinking people should agree with Mr. Obama’s new stance, rather than the one he purported to hold while campaigning for the presidency in 2007 and 2008 and during his first three years and three months in the White House.
For example, then-AFSCME President Gerald McEntee branded all Americans who resist the redefinition of marriage endorsed by Mr. Obama as supporters of “discrimination,” which “harms all of us, not just LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered] Americans.” He called for the eradication of all statutes and constitutional provisions defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. All such laws are “unjust” and their supporters plainly have malevolent motives, according to Mr. McEntee:
We have an obligation to work to overturn unjust laws and amendments to state constitutions that codify prejudice and promote discrimination against our fellow citizens. The President deserves praise for recognizing that this issue is about equality under the law and the right of all Americans to live their lives free from discrimination.
UAW President Bob King went so far as to suggest that he and other UAW officials were compelled to support a redefinition of marriage by the union’s proud history of opposing race-based discrimination: “The UAW helped organize African-American workers during the 1930’s when companies used race as a divisive anti-union strategy.” (Mr. King’s self-serving claim regarding the UAW’s Depression-era stance on racial matters was basically hogwash, as historian Paul Moreno showed in his well-documented 2006 book analyzing relations between black Americans and Organized Labor since the Civil War.)
But as officers of large U.S. unions were celebrating the President’s newfound support for the redefinition of marriage, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) condemned Mr. Obama’s action no less passionately, albeit more politely.
USCCB President Timothy Dolan’s response to the White House included strong admonitions as well as a vow to continue praying for the President and his Administration:
[W]e cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of our country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
‘It Would Be a Grave Injustice If the State Ignored the Unique and Proper Place of Husbands and Wives’
In a pastoral letter issued in November 2009, the USCCB explained why the Catholic Church rejects the view, shrilly espoused by McEntee, King, and a host of other top union officials, that opposing legal recognition for various same-sex relationships is tantamount to opposing “fairness, equality and civil rights”:
By attempting to redefine marriage to include or be made analogous with homosexual partnerships, society is stating that the permanent union of husband and wife, the unique pattern of spousal and familial love, and the generation of new life are now only of relative importance rather than being fundamental to the existence and well-being of society as a whole. . . .
[I]t is not unjust to oppose legal recognition of same-sex unions, because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. “The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.” [Citation omitted.] To promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman is itself a matter of justice. In fact, it would be a grave injustice if the state ignored the unique and proper place of husbands and wives, the place of mothers and fathers, and especially the rights of children, who deserve from society clear guidance as they grow to sexual maturity. Indeed, without this protection the state would, in effect, intentionally deprive children of the right to a mother and father.
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