11:29 AM Eastern - Thursday, October 28, 2010

VIDEO: Mary Kay Henry to LGBT youth: "It gets better"

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry taped a special message to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) youth as part of the "It Gets Better" campaign.

"You have an army of people that are prepared to support you no matter what until we pass equal rights into law all across this country," said Henry in her message.

The It Gets Better campaign was launched to provide support for LGBT youth who can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults and to show LGBT youth, who often feel alone and isolated, that they have millions of openly gay adults supporting them.

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SEIU members are uniting across the country to ensure It Gets Better by winning equality for all workers and justice for every working family.

Recognizing Same-Sex Marriage is a Union Issue

SEIU was the first union in the country to take a stand during the presidential elections when members passed a marriage equality resolution declaring: "SEIU will support the right of same-sex couples to access the full and equal rights, responsibilities, and commitments of civil marriage and oppose laws and constitutional amendments that deny that right." And SEIU members have been actively involved in state and local efforts to win marriage equality for all.

Establishing and Expanding Domestic Partner Benefits

SEIU members have fought for and won contracts that extend healthcare coverage to both same-sex and heterosexual partners and their partner's children. SEIU members have also won parity for domestic partners in family leave policies, including paternity, family emergency, and bereavement leave.

Building Community Strength Together

As board members, volunteers, donors and allies, SEIU members and staff have built meaningful partnerships with LGBT political, community and advocacy groups and leaders. SEIU is an active supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Stonewall Democrats, and countless other national and local organizations committed to equality.

Promoting Diversity Across Our Union

From openly gay International President Mary Kay Henry to several openly gay local presidents and executive board members to the dozens of openly gay staff members, SEIU promotes and values diversity at all levels of our union. And SEIU's gay and lesbian Lavender Caucus provides a voice for SEIU members to make equality a central part of our union's work.

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