Pro-family Groups Protest AFL-CIO

Two pro-family groups leading efforts for a marriage amendment in Illinois protest at the annual convention of a major labor union, voicing their opposition to the union’s advocacy of same-sex marriage.

The AFL-CIO labor federation convened its 50th annual convention on Monday in Chicago. The union recently passed a resolution in which they condemn the Federal Marriage Amendment and other state marriage amendments that define marriage only for one man and one woman.

According to the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) and its sister group, Protect Marriage Illinois (PMI), homosexual advocacy has been growing within the AFL-CIO.

IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera stated, “Most AFL-CIO members have no idea the union has become a leading force for mainstreaming homosexuality in the culture.”

This agenda, said LaBarbera, “exploits the vast majority of AFL-CIO employees who are pro-marriage and pro-traditional family.”

Around 40 pro-family organizations, including IFI, joined together last month to ask AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to withdraw the union’s resolution against traditional marriage amendments.

In the letter sent to Sweeney, the groups pledged that they “will not stand silently by while national AFL-CIO officials use the hard-earned dues money of America's working men and women--against their will, and at odds with their own deeply-held religious and moral convictions--to advance a political agenda that threatens to undermine the institutions of God-ordained marriage and the family.”

IFI and PMI are leading efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage in Illinois. Although the state passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, supporters of a constitutional amendment say that the DOMA does not provide enough protection for traditional marriage.

Pro-family leaders point to Massachusetts as an example- Illinois shares many of the same laws that judges in Massachusetts used to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act last year. A constitutional amendment, like those passed in several states this and last year, is needed to protect marriage, they say.

IFI and PMI have launched a website,, with a petition to place the proposed amendment on the November 2006 ballot.