Updates on Marriage Equality
WHEREAS with the 51st Biennial Convention's theme was "Commitment: Our Future, Our Legacy" and the official CACA press release stated its goals as "serving our communities and improving the quality of lives of Chinese Americans by fighting injustice and intolerance," there are still members of our community who continue to face indifference, injustice and intolerance. Most notably are Chinese Americans and other API persons who are LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) seeking the benefits of official marriage recognition as accorded to their heterosexual counterparts.
WHEREAS the 52nd Biennial Convention's theme, "Bridge to the Future," signifies the importance of strengthening the Alliance's relevancy in the new century, it also underscores the need to resolve the inequalities facing citizens who are discriminated based on their sex orientation in order to grow as an organization and progress forward.
WHEREAS a resolution addressing same-sex marriage titled "In Support of Family relations" was introduced by the San Francisco Lodge at the Chinese American Citizens Alliance 51st Biennial Convention, held in Los Angeles in 2009, failed to pass and was tabled.
WHEREAS public acceptance of homosexuals and of same-sex marriage has increased significantly since the marriage equality resolution was introduced in 2009: more Americans increasingly support the rights of same-sex couples to define their unions as marriage and recognized as such under Federal and State laws. Same-sex marriage is now recognized in 12 states: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, Maryland, Maine, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota, in addition to Washington, D.C. The U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy was repealed through a Congressional Act and signed by the president in September 2010.
WHEREAS the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on two cases involving gay marriage (Hollingsworth v. Perry on the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8 which bans gay marriage and Windsor v. United States on the constitutionality of the Federal Government's Defense of Marriage Act) that could decide whether gay couples are entitled civic recognition of marriage and accorded the benefits as applied to heterosexual couples. (The ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court is due to be released in June 2013).
WHEREAS the Chinese American Citizens Alliance is the nation's oldest civil rights organization for Chinese Americans and should not waver in its efforts to champion justice for all of its constituents without regard to personal, moral and religious beliefs or sexual orientation. We must remember that C.A.C.A.'s future and legacy is civil rights, expressed in its motto of "advancing equality and justice."
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Chinese American Citizens Alliance declares its support of marriage rights for LGBTQ citizens of the United States with the following efforts:
- A declaration of support for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) of the LGBTQ community in their efforts for seeking marriage recognition in all states;
- A declaration that no government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being of the same sex or a different sex;
- Opposition to any future attempts to repeal existing same-sex marriages laws in states and voter-driven and legislative attempts to prohibit same-sex marriage in other states; and
- Development of educational programs to encourage outreach, dialogue, membership and participation in C.A.C.A. from the LGBTQ community.