Momentum for marriage equality in the Latino community continued Saturday when the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the nation’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights and advocacy group, passed a resolution at its annual convention.
The resolution supports marriage equality for all Americans and “opposes the denial of basic civil rights or acts of discrimination against any American, as is consistent with LULAC's continuing advocacy for civil rights and protections guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” according to a news release. The announcement said the convention drew more than 20,000 people to Orlando, Florida.
"Today the LULAC National Membership reaffirmed its commitment to equality for all by voting in favor of marriage equality," said Jesse Garcia, LULAC member and cofounder of the organization's first LGBT Council, in the statement. "LULAC stands with great Latino leaders like Dolores Huerta, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis who believe discrimination of same-sex couples should not be tolerated. This is a historic day for LGBT Latinos everywhere, plus this vote is another bond that reaffirms the partnership between the LGBT and Hispanic communities."
The LULAC resolution follows a vote by the National Council of La Raza, which last month became the first Latino civil rights organization to endorse marriage equality. Recent polls show that a majority of Latinos support marriage equality. Since President Barack Obama made his personal announcement of support in May, the NAACP has also endorsed the right of same-sex couples to marry. Last month, African-American, Latino and LGBT groups marched together in a show of unity against the New York City Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, which the advocates say amounts to racial profiling.
LULAC specifically mentioned the President Obama’s statement in its news release. The group has several LGBT councils, and in recent years has voted in favor of “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal and passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
“Today’s vote by the League of United Latin American Citizens in favor of the freedom to marry reflects LULAC’s longstanding support for inclusion and equality, and mirrors the values of a growing majority of Latinos in this country who know that every gay or lesbian person is part of someone’s family – a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a loved one – and no family members should face discrimination when they hope to marry the person they love,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry. “Latino gay couples seek the freedom to marry to affirm and strengthen their love and commitment and their ability to take care of each other and their families; government should not be putting barriers in their way. Freedom to Marry applauds LULAC’s strong stand for justice and looks forward to working together to secure the freedom to marry for all gay and lesbian Latinos, and all Americans.”