The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) passed a resolution today at its 83rd annual convention in favor of same sex unions. The resolution supports marriage equality for all Americans, including those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.
The resolution also opposes the denial of basic civil rights or acts of discrimination against any American, as is consistent with LULAC's continuing advocacy for civil rights and protections guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
"Today, the LULAC National Membership reaffirmed its commitment to equality for all by voting in favor of marriage equality," said Jesse Garcia, LULAC member and co-founder of the organization's first LGBT Council. "LULAC stands with great Latino leaders like Dolores Huerta, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis who believe discrimination against same-sex couples should not be tolerated. This is a historic day for LGBT Latinos everywhere, plus this vote is another bond that reaffirms the partnership between the LGBT and Hispanic communities."
LULAC supported President Obama's statement in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples, and has several LGBT councils.
"Since its inception, LULAC has fought for the equality of minorities," said Brent Wilkes, LULAC executive director. "All individuals, regardless of their race, ethnicity, country of origin or sexual orientation, deserve equal rights. Everyone should be granted the freedom to marry their partner and be protected under the same laws that are established for heterosexual couples."
Related story: LULAC Supports the Obama Administration's Decision Regarding Immigration Reform
Because all Americans are afforded equal protection under the law, states are prohibited from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
However, LGBT individuals in committed relationships are currently denied the benefits, rights and protections as provided by marital law because of laws that deny marriage equality, including the Defense of Marriage Act, LULAC says.
Couples who are allowed to marry are afforded 1,138 benefits, rights and protections on the basis of marital law, including access to Social Security survivor benefits, tax benefits, family and medical leave for domestic partners, continued health coverage, hospital visitation rights, and immigration protections.
At the its national convention, which closes today, LULAC conducted a workshop to increase the awareness of LGBT and HIV issues. The goal of the convention's Equality Track was to empower attendees with skills to advocate for LGBT equality and HIV and Latino health issues.
As the premier Hispanic convention, the LULAC National Convention draws over 20,000 participants each year, including the top leaders from government, business and the Hispanic community.
LULAC is a volunteer-based organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with 900 councils around the U.S. and Puerto Rico. LULAC's programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.
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