That's why today's announcement that unions, labor federations and labor leaders representing more than 850,000 New Yorkers--and including 1199SEIU and NYSUT--are backing the marriage bill is so significant.
Packets of information were sent to all members of the Assembly yesterday with a cover letter from NYSUT EVP Alan Lubin (who also spoke at the noontime rally during E&J Day). In the letter, Lubin wrote:
"As unions, we have a particular responsibility to protect equal rights and promote economic justice in connection with collective bargaining, economic benefits, and legislation that affects our members. I am urging you to continue to do to do the right thing as co-sponsor and vote yes on the Marriage Equality bill"
He goes on to say:
"As you make your decision, I want you to consider my full and unwavering support for this bill. I stand in solidarity with the supportive union leaders, local unions, and area labor federations on the attached list."
The unions/labor federations on the "attached list" are:
1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
New York State Teachers United
SEIU Local 32BJ
Retail, Wholesale, Department Stores Union/United Food and Commercial Workers (RWDSU/UFCW)
United Federation of Teachers
United Auto Workers (UAW) Region 9A New York Metro Community Action Program Council
Capital District Area Labor Federation
Rochester & Genesee Valley Labor Federation
Central New York Area Labor Federation
Prominent labor leaders in New York who have previously stated their support for marriage equality include 1199SEIU Past President Dennis Rivera, UFT President Randi Weingarten and UNITE HERE! President Bruce Raynor.
Read more about labor support of marriage here and here.
Read the marriage resolution that many of these unions have passed here.