By Brian Lang, President UNITE HERE Local 26
The Boston Globe article “The hidden attorney general race: gay community v. labor” by Alan Wirzbicki on August 14, 2014 says that labor and LGBT groups are divided in the Massachusetts Attorney General race: labor for Tolman and gay rights groups and individuals for Healey.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Labor and LGBT organizations are natural allies. We are fighting for dignity, respect, and equality for all. The labor movement at its best believes that “an injury to one is an injury to all.” The causes of the LGBT movement are our causes. While many outside forces try to pit us against each other, we continue to fight the good fight, shoulder to shoulder.
Our committee of shopfloor leaders in the hotel and food service industries in metro Boston met with Tolman and Healey. We thought they would both be great leaders. We decided to endorse Tolman after lengthy discussion on immigration, income inequality, and the rising cost of healthcare.
Our union supported the Transgender rights bill in 2012. We have enjoyed marching in Boston Pride. At the height of the AIDS epidemic our healthcare fund in Boston was one of the first to offer benefits to same-sex couples. We oppose discrimination and violence. We fight for changes that protect us all. We count many LGBT folks among our strongest members and dedicated staff.
Tolman is not lacking when it comes to his record of supporting LGBT rights. His work to stop violence against women is inspiring. That is important to us.
Let’s get the facts right: everyone who is working for a better world will always have more in common than we could ever have in differences. We will stand with our LGBT allies anytime of the year.
UNITE HERE Boston’s Local 26 represents 7,000 workers in hotels, campus cafeterias, convention centers, Fenway Park and Logan Airport.
For more information contact Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807, [email protected]