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OTTAWA – Canada’s largest union is urging its members to lobby their MPs in favour of equal marriage.

An urgent appeal to CUPE’s 540,000 members was made by the union’s highest decision-making body, the National Executive Board.

The board calls on all “CUPE Divisions, Councils, Locals and members to urgently contact their Members of Parliament to immediately pass Bill C-38 before Parliament stands down for the summer recess.”

The union’s strong stance is motivated by its support for the equality provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, said Paul Moist, CUPE national president.

It is time to end years of discrimination against gay and lesbian couples,” said Moist. “It is time to make equal marriage the law of the land. After all, eight Canadian courts have ruled that refusing gay and lesbian couples the right to marry is discriminatory under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Moist encouraged the federal government to resist the Conservatives’ tactics to delay this legislation.

CUPE was the first union in Canada to establish a gay and lesbian committee, and was among the first to enshrine transgender rights in its own constitution. The union formed its Pink Triangle Committee in 1991, to better organize its fight for full labour and human rights for all people, regardless of their sexuality or sexual orientation.

Paul Moist, National President, (613) 558-2873;
Claude Généreux, National Secretary-Treasurer, (514) 884-5074;
David Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431.