“An Injury to One is an Injury to All” means all!
On this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), we remember Zachee Imanitwitaho, a member of IUF affiliate UFCW Local 227, a Rwandan immigrant to the United States, a 26-year-old meat worker at a JBS plant in Louisville, Kentucky who was murdered in February outside her workplace by a co-worker, a victim of a transgender hate crime. We will say her name, we will continue our work in her honor, she will not be erased.
Violence against members of the LGBTI+ communities, especially transgender people of color, has escalated as the right wing has dangerously weaponized their anti-LGBTI+ rhetoric as part of their toolbox for undermining democracy and creating scapegoats for distraction from other important issues.
In 2023, it is still illegal to be LGBTI+ in 64 United Nations member states, and in some countries, the death penalty is still imposed. Just this past month Uganda’s parliament passed a heinous anti-gay law that includes, among many other shocking regulations, landlords going to prison for 7 years for renting to practicing homosexuals. The law creates a chilling effect on people defending human rights including trade unions.
Today we focus on stopping LGBTI+ discrimination, fighting bigotry and standing up for human rights; on behalf of our IUF LGBTI and Allies Committee, I urge my trade union comrades to increase our efforts to speak out for our LGBTI+ members and our members with LGBTI+ family and friends.
Our ideals that promise “An injury to one is an injury to all” must mean all! As trade unionists we know that human rights are worker rights are racial justice rights are gender equality rights are LGBTI+ rights.