Homosexual Unions Aren’t a Labor Issue


Major Labor Unions Back Obama’s Support for Marriage Equality

 More Unions Applaud Obama for Marriage Equality Stance

With evident contempt for the views of millions of rank-and-file unionists, AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka and other union bosses are using their forced dues-funded empires to assist a controversial political agenda.

Few Democrat Party constituencies were quicker and more vociferous than the union brass in commending President Obama’s announcement last week 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, AFSCME, the CWA, the AFT, the UAW, the SEIU, and a host of other unions all issued statements clearly implying that all right-thinking people should agree with the President’s current stance, rather than the one he purported to hold until early May 2012. (See the links above.)

Polling data show that the American people continue to be closely divided on the issue of “gay marriages.” And in the dozens of states that have held ballot measures or referenda on the particular question of whether public policy should recognize and encourage same-sex unions, majorities have voted “No” every time, most recently in North Carolina this spring. Rank-and-file union members have disparate views on this controversial issue, just as other Americans do.

And yet AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other union officials whose influence and power rest on Organized Labor’s government-granted privilege to force millions of Americans to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment have taken it upon themselves to take a strongly partisan stance on an issue that has at most a tangential relationship to the workplace. Mr. Trumka and company obviously feel free to use the forced-dues clout they wield to advance an agenda that millions of forced dues-paying workers oppose, in many cases passionately.

Unionized workers should have the same right as other Americans to make personal choices about which public policies and politicians they support or oppose. Once federal law and the laws of every state protect the individual employee’s freedom to get and hold a job without being forced to fork over tribute to union czars like Richard Trumka, union officials’ use of the organizations they control to advance the cause of “gay marriage” will be a matter of concern for union members only. But as long as forced union dues and fees remain legal, Mr. Trumka’s activism on an issue that has little if anything to do with the workplace will remain a matter of public concern.