Latino LGBT Groups Rally for Marriage Equality: A Personal Account
Posted on 05/09/2015 @ 12:45 AM
By: Victor G. Martinez, LULAC Lambda Council #11125, President
On April 28, LULAC National Staff and LULAC Lambda Members (Council #11125) joined hundreds of people rallying on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that could potentially pave the way for nationwide marriage equality.
Along with a variety of religious, civic, and LGBT rights organizations, LULAC forms part of the Unite for Marriage Coalition. The Coalition includes LGBT flagship organizations like Human Rights Campaign and The National LGBTQ Task Force, alongside a strong Latino contingency, including the Latino GLBT History Project, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. I was proud to see such a strong Latino presence at the rally, but even more proud to see LULAC with the largest number of Latino supporters.
LULAC has been on the forefront of advocating for LGBT rights at both the local and national level. Since 2008, LULAC National has issued member-approved resolutions supporting the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, endorsing a fully-inclusive Employee Non-Discrimination Act, and supporting hate crimes legislation. LULAC’s strong showing at the rally demonstrates yet another example of its unwavering support for inclusive, equitable policies for all Latinos. This support has given rise to five LGBT LULAC councils found throughout the United States.
Supporting marriage equality is a natural next step for LULAC because Latino families do not fit a specific mold or fall into one category. Our families are diverse and include daughters, sons, cousins, uncles, and aunts who identify as LGBT. These family members should not face discrimination when they want to marry the person they love, and it is great to see LULAC embrace their LGBT members and commit to ensuring they receive the same civil rights protections as everyone else.
Through this lens, we will move ever closer to accomplishing LULAC’s mission of advancing the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of all Latinos, regardless of the labels others may utilize to divide us.
Victor G. Martinez is the President of LULAC Lambda Council #11125. He is a bilingual Teacher Fellow at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Previously, Martinez worked in education and behavioral health research at American Institutes for Research. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communication from the University of California- Davis, and a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Southern California.