Union Eyes: CPSU debates same-sex marriage equality

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The Community and Public Sector Union has joined many other unions in backing the year of action for same-sex marriage equality. The Executive Committee voted to endorse the campaign, donate $1,000, to publicise the rallies being held around the country and to organise contingents.

This decision promoted a lively debate on the union’s web page, drawing 61 comments from members. A few dinosaurs claimed that the union was wrong to endorse the Equal Love campaign, arguing it was not a workplace issue.

But more than two-thirds of respondents enthusiastically congratulated the union, eloquently arguing why unions should be involved. Many made the case that fighting discrimination was core union business. Others insisted that unions must play a role in driving progressive social change. Some pointed to inspiring historic examples such as the Green Bans imposed by the Builders Labourers Federation, which saved many iconic buildings. Bindie, an Aboriginal member from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, highlighted the role played by unions in supporting women’s suffrage and Aboriginal rights. She characterised the battle for marriage equality as part of this civil rights war. Patricia from the Tax Office thanked the union for its leadership. Many other members said that they planned to attend their local Equal Love rally.

March on Saturday 14 August for Equal Love. In Melbourne, assemble 1 pm at the State Library. If you are a unionist keen to build on this important development, we’d love to hear from you: freedom.socialist.party@ozemail.com.au

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