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Resolutions & Amendments

41st International Convention - Chicago, IL (2014)

Oppose Sexual Orientation Discrimination by Businesses

Resolution No. 43
41st International Convention
McCormick Place
July 14 - 18, 2014
Chicago, IL


            Modern society has risen above the acceptance of hatred and discrimination in our communities.  Jim Crow laws, which discriminated against citizens of African descent, were abolished several generations ago.  Businesses used to discriminate against customers based on the color of their skin.  Lunch counters, theaters, even drinking fountains and vending machines designated where black customers were allowed and where privileged white customers would be served.  Yet there are some who believe that business should be allowed to return to such discriminatory practices, and worse yet, be allowed to entirely refuse service to customers on the basis of perceived sexual orientation; and


            We affirm the religious freedom guaranteed in our nation’s constitution and value the many and varied faiths represented in our nation, our world and our union.  We support and defend the right of every person to worship and live according to the religious tradition of his/her choice; and


            Extremists, those who advocate hatred and sometimes even violence, and hide behind freedoms, should not be tolerated in modern society and cannot be allowed influence in our schools, our media, our legislatures, our elections, or our business community; and


            Most, if not all, of our collective bargaining agreements and most, if not all, of our employers’ policies contain language prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, faith and many other protected classes.  This is reflective of our shared belief that all people, regardless of their heritage, culture, or identity, have inherent value as human beings and should be treated with dignity and should receive justice; and


            If our employers tried to remove this anti-discrimination language from our agreements we would never allow it to be removed.


            If legislation similar to Arizona’s Senate Bill 1062, or any similar state legislation, or voter initiatives attempt to allow discrimination by businesses against anyone, regardless of who they love or what their faith may be, such legislation or voter initiative should be opposed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), wherever it should appear.


Jeff Klatke, President
Michael Hanna, First Vice President
Annette Skillman, Secretary
AFSCME Council 75

Elyse Alexander
AFSCME Local 3135, Council 75