To The Editor:
“Recent Supreme Court decisions have both outraged the members of our union and given us cause for celebration. Regardless, we are committed to take further action. The morally bankrupt decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act will allow state and local governments with a history of voter discrimination to change their election laws without federal approval. This is a major step backwards for voting rights and for our nation’s democracy, which still has a long way to go to fully realize the ideal of justice for all. Already, some states formerly covered under the Act are quickly moving forward with insidious plans to restrict the voting rights of communities of color. We vow to mobilize our members, work with our coalitions and do everything in our power to fight back against discriminatory voting laws, and to vastly expand voter rights, participation and access to the polls.
“We were deeply disgusted by the decision which will curtail voting rights, but we were elated and heartened by the rulings that married same-sex couples could not be denied federal benefits and that gay couples could marry in California. Our union has always believed strongly that all people should receive equal treatment under the law, regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to expand the right to marry whoever you love to all 50 states, but this decision was a major step towards equality for our LGBT sisters and brothers.
“The decisions against the Voting Rights Act and for gay marriage have filled us with a mixture of outrage and hope. But we draw strength from the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, which were quoted by Justice Ginsburg in her dissenting opinion defending voting rights: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’”
President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East