AFL-CIO Amends Its Constitution

September 11, 2013

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By Kirsten Andersen

AFL_CIO-240x131Homosexual activists celebrated a victory Monday after the nation’s largest labor union amended its constitution to affirm its commitment to organizing for so-called “transgender” workers.

In an amendment titled “Welcoming All Workers to Our Movement,” the AFL-CIO added “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the organization’s constitutional objectives and principles. They now state that AFL-CIO’s mission is “To encourage all workers without regard to race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to share equally in the full benefits of union organization.”

The AFL-CIO’s move echoed those taken by a number of smaller unions which have already promised to advocate for the interests of transgendered workers.  Homosexual activists applaud the trend.

National Center for Transgender Equality executive director Mara Keisling told BuzzFeed she found the AFL-CIO’s amendment “very exciting,” and added, “Labor has really been stepping up, and the AFL-CIO has been stepping up.”

“The labor movement has long been a leader on full inclusion in the workplace,” said Human Rights Campaign Vice President Fred Sainz, in a statement.  “This important addition to the governing document of the largest federation of labor unions is a historic and important step forward to ensuring that every American has an equal shot at employment and equal benefits.”

Many activists hope the amendment will lead to stronger union demands for things like insurance coverage for sex-change operations and hormone therapies, and access to bathrooms and changing facilities that match workers’ preferred, not biological sex.

A featured post on the AFL-CIO website says, “Transgender patients have unique health care needs, including psychotherapy, hormones and surgeries. While many insurance policies cover trans health care needs, others have ‘transgender exclusions’ and won’t cover anything related to gender transition.”

Andy Bowen, a biological man living full-time as a woman, is a member of the AFL-CIO’s “Pride at Work” homosexual activism group.  He recently told the union, “It’s time to improve health care access for transgender people, and unions, which negotiate their members’ medical benefits, play an important role in this work.”

A separate resolution pledging the organization’s commitment to fighting for coverage for sex-change procedures in all of its contract negotiations was also introduced at this week’s meeting, but failed to move forward “due to technicalities,” according to Donna Cartright, a spokesman for the D.C.-Baltimore chapter of Pride At Work.

That resolution stated:

“BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO removes any and all discriminatory health care exclusions directed toward transgender employees and the employee’s dependents from its health care policy and require tenants in its Washington, DC, headquarters to do the same.

BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO advocates for trans-gender inclusive health care for its members and members’ dependents during bargaining negotiations with employers.”

Cartright said the resolution, which has already been adopted by the SEIU, was expected to be reintroduced at a later date.

But Stan Greer, Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, told LifeSiteNews that inclusion of transgender advocacy in contract negotiations may present a moral dilemma for dues-paying rank-and-file union members who oppose the lifestyle, especially if their opposition stems from sincerely held religious beliefs.

Greer said that while most union members, even deeply religious ones, would agree that no one should be barred from joining a union because of their lifestyle choices, neither should union members be forced to pay for advocacy that goes against their religious beliefs.

Because most union contracts require union membership as a condition of employment, workers who object to transgender advocacy on religious grounds could soon be forced to choose between their morals and their jobs.

The AFL-CIO’s “willingness to embrace the dubious concepts of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ are bound to offend many unionized workers,” said Greer.  “The implication … is that a person, regardless of the biological facts, is whichever sex he or she says, and the law should respect this subjective judgment.”

Greer pointed out that there is still significant disagreement in the medical community about whether elective surgeries and hormone therapies to create the appearance of a different sex are truly sound medicine.

He referenced a quote by Dr. Paul McHugh, the former chairman of the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins University, who responded to ‘gender identity’ theorists by saying, “It is not obvious how [a] patient’s feeling that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body differs from the feeling of a patient with anorexia nervosa that she is obese despite her emaciated, cachectic state.  We don’t do liposuction on anorexics.  Why amputate the genitals of these poor men?  Surely, the fault is in the mind, not the member.”

Said Greer, “AFL-CIO bosses from Richard Trumka on down are free to disagree with Dr. McHugh and the vast majority of unionized workers and other Americans who agree with Dr. McHugh’s perspective … [and] Trumka and company should be free to push for public policies that follow their own view that biological sex and social gender should be disconnected.  But the individual worker who disagrees with this idiosyncratic perspective should be free to get and hold a job without being forced to join or pay dues to an AFL-CIO-affiliated union, or any other union.”

Added Greer, “The increasingly radical and, frankly, bizarre stances taken by Big Labor in recent years underscore the importance of legal protections for the individual right to work.”

 

Article submitted by:  Veronica Coffin

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