May 01, 2015

LGBTQ task force makes RA debut

Source:  NYSUT Communications
Caption: Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

Colorful "We Are One" T-shirts were selling fast at a booth at the RA's Member Benefits and Services on Display.

"Tons of people are stopping. It's awesome. It makes me feel like we're doing something. We're all so segregated," said Maureen Singer, a school psychologist. This is her first RA, and it's the first for the union's LGBTQ Task Force.

Behind the task force's table, a large "We Are One" poster - covered in signatures - was propped against the wall.

"Our sign here went to the Supreme Court," said Singer, pointing to the poster.


Patty Bentley, UUP retiree Patty Bentley (pictured above with AFT's Marge Brown) took the poster to the rally at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, where the justices were hearing arguments on whether states can bar marriage equality.

"I carried it at the rally in support of arguments about constitutionality of marriage equality," said Bentley, who was one of about 2,000 people at the rally. The crowd included a group of fifth-graders from D.C. who voted to attend the rally as their school field trip.

Bentley said a Library of Congress employee noticed the sign, and asked to have it put in the library's archives. For Bentley, a longtime college librarian, this was happy news.

"NYSUT does a lot of social justice and has been a long supporter of LGBTQ. NYSUT will protect rights in the workplace," said Jim Larson, NYSUT legislative representative.

Nicole Clayton, graphic designer for NYSUT's communications department and a member of the Professional Staff Association, designed the "We Are One" logo for the sign, posters and buttons.

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