Passing LD 369, an Earned Paid Sick Days proposal, is the right thing to do for Maine’s families.

42 percent of LGBT people say they’ve needed to take time off work at some point to care for a sick family member. LGBT couples raising children are also twice as likely to have household incomes near the poverty line compared to their non-LGBT peers — and single LGBT people are three times more likely to live near the poverty threshold than their non-LGBT peers. The reality is that these folks simply can’t afford to take unpaid time off work, and this proposal would make a huge difference. Earned paid sick leave would also be significant to members of the transgender community, older Mainers, and folks living with HIV/AIDS.

It’s important that our public policy acknowledges that families in Maine take diverse forms. To that end, we are especially supportive of this proposal’s inclusive definition of family, which recognizes that many Mainers, especially LGBT people, have chosen or extended family whom they care for.