Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Workers' rights are LGBTQ+ rights
by Brian C. Johnson
2022-06-27

This article shared 4060 times since Mon Jun 27, 2022
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


June usually marks a joyous month for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies as we reflect on the decades of hard work that our community and movement have put into securing and promoting our civil rights. While this June is no exception, we're also forced to come to terms with the fact that our Constitutional rights remain in jeopardy.

We've already seen what an emboldened right-wing majority on the Supreme Court is willing to do. Last week, the Supreme Court rolled back women and pregnant people's fundamental right to reproductive freedom despite decades of established legal precedent.

That shocking development was a harrowing reminder to LGBTQ+ Americans that the progress we've fought so hard for in courts and communities for decades could be wiped away by a new generation of activist judges more interested in advancing their ideological agenda than understanding and following established case law.

There has never been a more important time to stand up and continue the fight for our fundamental rights and advance the cause of equality. Luckily, here in Illinois, we have a powerful opportunity to do just that this November when Illinois voters will have the opportunity to vote yes for the Workers' Rights Amendment.

The Workers' Rights Amendment will update the Illinois Constitution to guarantee the right to collective bargaining, ensuring workers can join together to negotiate for pay raises, voice safety concerns that can save lives in the workplace, and continue to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ Illinoisans.

This is a crucially important opportunity for our community and our entire state. It is also a powerful reminder that workers' rights are queer rights, and in our fight for our equality, collective bargaining agreements were some of the first places LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections existed, long before laws were enacted to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In fact, the first workplace protections for gay people in US history were secured in a collective bargaining agreement - the one secured by the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union. In 1936 the union featured a banner stating "Race-baiting, Red-baiting, and Queer-Baiting is Anti-Union" in its union hall.

The labor movement's commitment to our cause began as early as 1970 when the American Federation of Teachers became the first federal labor union to make a public statement calling for an end to discrimination against LGBTQ+ workers. That same year, unions began including anti-discrimination policies in their collective bargaining agreements, and by 1974, two AFSCME locals negotiated collective bargaining agreements that expressly prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In the 1980's, our allies in the labor movement extended their advocacy to protecting our families as well as our workers. In 1982, the staff union at the Village Voice in New York City negotiated an extension of the company health plan to "spouse equivalents." In the mid-1980s, the Columbia clerical local union collectively bargained for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ workers, spousal equivalent bereavement leave, health coverage, and tuition benefits for domestic partners.

And, later that same decade, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union negotiated the addition of "change of sex" to the list of protected classes at an industrial laundry facility after a union steward was harassed at work following her gender reassignment surgery.

It's worth noting no state would pass statewide non-discrimination protections until Wisconsin in 1982. Illinois didn't pass LGBTQ+-inclusive non-discrimination protections until 2005. Before the state legislatures took action, labor unions and queer labor activists were leading the fight for anti-discrimination protections.

That is why Equality Illinois is proud to endorse the Workers' Rights Amendment. In the current environment, we hear anecdotal reports that collective bargaining agreements are sometimes the only protections for LGBTQ+ workers in the 28 states without explicit statutory protections for LGBTQ+ workers.

Should our fundamental rights in the workplace come under the same threats facing reproductive freedom, collective bargaining agreements may be the only significant tool we have to enforce LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination in the workplace.

It is critically important that we win this fight for workers' rights in Illinois this November and keep our state moving backward. Vote Yes for Workers' Rights in the general election.

Brian C. Johnson is the CEO of Equality Illinois


This article shared 4060 times since Mon Jun 27, 2022
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Federal investigation initiated in Nex Benedict case
2024-03-02
The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has started an investigation into the Oklahoma school district where Nex Benedict, a transgender 16-year-old sophomore, went to school and was bullied before his death, The Advocate ...


Gay News

Court blocks Texas attorney general's demand for PFLAG data
2024-03-01
From a press release: AUSTIN, Texas—Travis County District Court Judge Maria CantÀº Hexsel on March 1 blocked the latest effort by the Texas Attorney General's Office to persecute Texas families with transgender youth, temporarily haltin ...


Gay News

WORLD Canadian politics, Australian murders, Finnish study, 'Anatomy'
2024-03-01
Canadian conservatives are divided over an anti-trans policy that Alberta Premier Danielle Smith handed down in her province, The Guardian reported. The policy includes a ban on hormonal treatment, puberty ...


Gay News

Appeals court allows Ind. ban on gender-affirming care for minors
2024-03-01
On Feb. 27, a federal appeals court in Chicago allowed Indiana's ban on gender-affirming care to go into effect, removing a temporary injunction that U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued last year, ABC News ...


Gay News

Ghana parliament passes harsh anti-LGBTQ+ bill
2024-02-29
On Feb. 28, Ghana's parliament unanimously passed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill that has been condemned globally. The so-called Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act, which was introduced in the parliament in 2021, not only criminalizes ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Trailblazing judge and attorney Patricia M. Logue passes away
2024-02-26
The Honorable Patricia Logue ("Pat" to her friends, Trish" to her family) was a brilliant lawyer, a trailblazing jurist and a hero to the LGBTQ community. Pat's legacy includes numerous landmark cases she litigated over her ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Kelly Cassidy discusses reproductive health, LGBTQ+ rights ahead of March primary
2024-02-26
By Kayleigh Padar State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, running unopposed in the March 19 primary election so as to continue representing the 14th District, was first elected in 2011. During her tenure in Springfield, she has ...


Gay News

Federal jury finds man guilty of killing trans woman in landmark case
2024-02-24
In a groundbreaking case, a federal jury in Columbia, South Carolina found Daqua Lameek Ritter guilty of killing transgender woman Dime Doe after deliberating for almost four hours, The State reported. It is the first time ...


Gay News

Unprecedented Alabama Supreme Court ruling undermins access to family-building healthcare, GLAD responds
2024-02-23
--From a press release - Feb. 23, 2024 (Boston) — Today, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) issued the following statement from Polly Crozier, GLAD's Director of Family Advocacy, on the Alabama Supreme Court decision ...


Gay News

WORLD Caribbean ruling, Pussy Riot, Russian raid, Canadian warning, anti-trans bar
2024-02-23
The top court in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines dismissed a challenge to colonial-era anti-gay laws, Reuters reported. Javin Johnson and Sean Macleish—two gay men who had pushed to decriminalize ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Chuck Schumer, anti-marriage bill, drag event back on, military doctor
2024-02-23
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced his support for the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA)—and, as a result, several LGBTQ+-advocacy organizations dropped their opposition to it, The Hill ...


Gay News

HIV criminal laws disproportionately impact Black men in Mississippi
2024-02-21
--From a press release - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that at least 43 people in Mississippi were arrested for HIV-related crimes between 2004 and 2021. Half of all arrests in the state ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Eileen O'Neill Burke talks state's attorney run, judgeship, GOP ties
2024-02-19
The Democratic primary in the race to succeed outgoing Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx involves two candidates with extensive backgrounds concerning law and government. Eileen O'Neill Burke is a lifelong Democrat and fourth-generation Chicag ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024 Clayton Harris III talks state's attorney run, Kim Foxx, Blagojevich
2024-02-16
The Democratic primary in the race to succeed outgoing Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx involves two candidates with extensive backgrounds concerning law and government. Clayton Harris III is an experienced prosecutor and government leader who ...


Gay News

ELECTIONS 2024: JUDICIAL IL Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham discusses running for a full 10-year term
2024-02-16
Current Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham is running for a full 10-year term this year, following her appointment on Dec. 1, 2022 to the First District seat. Cunningham's appointment was the result of Chief Justice ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.