SEIU 721 Honors Pride Month with Firm Commitment to Support Our LGBTQ+ Siblings

Pride Month is underway and SEIU 721 is proud to celebrate it. Our union is proud to fight every day for the rights of all workers – and that includes human rights and dignity for all, including the LGBTQ+ community.

The good news is that we’ve made great strides in the fight for LGBTQ+ justice in recent years. Many of us are old enough to remember when the vast majority of LGBTQ+ individuals were extremely hesitant to reveal their sexual orientation because it simply was not safe – professionally or personally. Nowadays, more LGBTQ+ people than ever are living their lives openly. Representation of the LGBTQ+ community continues to grow – in the political sphere, in our professional lives, in the media and elsewhere.

But there are also signs that we still have work to do in the fight for equality. According to the Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization in the U.S. – anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes rose sharply in 2022, the most recent year for which we have crime statistics available.

Equally concerning is that this spike in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes have occurred in tandem with a rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. The same year that the latest hate crime statistics were compiled, more than 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in 43 states – and more than 80 were signed into law. Now, in 2024, we are witnessing the continuance of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric as the political season heats up.

It’s vital that we stand together to fight back against it.

Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is not confined to regions of our nation that are historically known for it. Indeed, this past May, the Downey City Council voted to ban all Pride flags from flying on city property. Thankfully, their action was countered strongly just a few weeks later when the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to fly Pride flags at county parks – including those in Downey.

We at SEIU 721 stand firmly in support of our LGBTQ+ siblings. It’s why our union participates in Pride celebrations. It’s why we proudly support our union’s Lavender Caucus. It’s why – when hosting COPE endorsement sessions for political candidates – we do not hesitate to ask those who seek our support for their positions on LGBTQ+ issues.

Intensified attacks against LGBTQ+ people and threats against them are not welcome at SEIU 721 – nor are we intimidated by them. We will always fight for the equality and dignity of our members and the public at large. And as we say at SEIU 721: When we fight, we win!

In Solidarity,
SEIU 721 President and Executive Director David Green

Categories: Lavender Caucus