Monday, June 19, 2006

NEA Will Introduce Yet Another Gay Marriage-Approving Resolution At It's Rep Assembly This Year

Before you libs get your panties in a bunch and fire up the homophobic name-calling machine, I'll just state up front that, absent getting government out of the marriage business altogether, I support government's sactioning the marriage of any two consenting adults.

But I see no reason why the union to which I still have to contribute money each year, despite the fact that I'm not a member, needs to put forth a resolution approving of gay marriage. Honestly, what possible impact could that have on education or on educators?

NEA can't seem to decide if it's a labor union, a leftist front group, a political action committee, or a social services organization. So part of the time they focus on education, another part of the time they focus on the educators who make up their ranks, and another part of the time they spend on things unrelated to either of those two issues. Like this gay marriage issue. Why does NEA do this?

NEA is a liberal-left organization run by liberal-left people. It will support a liberal-left agenda. The resolutions debates are often an exercise in semantics to disguise this fact.

That explains it quite well. So what exactly is this resolution that's being put forth?

This time around it is an amendment to Resolution B-8, Diversity. The resolution currently calls for "appreciation and acceptance of the various qualities that pertain to people as individuals and as members of diverse populations." The diverse populations are noted by 17 categories, including race, sexual orientation, gender identification, size, marital status, and geographic location. The proposed amendment, sponsored by the union's GLBT Caucus, adds the following language as a new fourth paragraph:

"The Association believes that legal rights and responsibilities with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, legal immigration, domestic partnerships, and civil unions and/or marriage belong to all of these diverse groups and individuals."

If you accept my premise that a union should focus strictly on pay, benefits, and working conditions, then a resolution of this type is meaningless. It may or may not be a nice gesture (like the NEA's resolution supporting veterans) but it has no purpose at all. Some would say that the incidents of marriage are "benefits" that teachers would get if gay marriage were legalized, but I counter that everyone would be entitled to those benefits, not just teachers, if gay marriage were legalized. There are no benefits that a school district could or would offer gay couples that the state would not, so this isn't really an issue of pay/benefits/working conditions. What is it, then?

Yet another nod to the far left.

Oh, and those of us who don't support this resolution, whether or not we support gay marriage? We're just intolerant. May as well fire up that name-calling machine.

Thanks to EIA (see blogroll at left) for providing a history of GLBT resolutions at the NEA, as well as commentary on this one, in the June 19th Communique.

Update, 6/23/06: EIA says there's a change in the works because the NEA is getting mambo-gobbo amounts of unhappy email on the topic. I'm curious about this quote from Massa Reg, though:

"While I understand that the e-mails and phone calls you are receiving are generating concern, we must not allow the tactics and manipulations of these divisive groups to derail our process. NEA has no position on same-sex marriages, and leadership is not seeking to establish such a position."

Then what the heck is this resolution for?


Lady S said...

I am a left-leaner on the right coast (Vermont), although we are all pretty left over here.

For the record, I:
am pro-choice
support marriage for couples of any combination
am against the war

However, I am also against the NEA stating any sort of support for a non-education related issue (see above).

I have a coworker (conservative Christian) who is anti-abortion and will not join the union until they stop having a stance on it.

Recently our local Union rep polled the member in our district (7 elementary schools and one union HS) about how we felt about the Vermont NEA taking an anti-position on the war. I was the second to chime in and say that I didn't think we should have any group position. This was after 5 people had said the union should speak out against it, and one said we should not take a stance. I was all but attacked for saying it was a non-education related issue. They argued that if we weren't at war we would have more money for schools, kids wouldn't be recruited for the military in schools, etc, etc. I found this arguement stupid, becuase I was in college in the last half of the 90's (no war) and there was very little federal money for schools and there was certainly recruiting on campus (even my tiny women's college).

You and I may not agree on all issues, but on this we see the light

Darren said...

Lady S, I always see the light. My hope here is to get you to see it, too, and not just on this one issue!


I'm glad we can agree on this one point, and thank you for commenting here. Please feel free to come back and comment any time.

lsand said...

Almost a year ago to the day I had an article called "Outing the NEA" published on

Apparently, things have not gotten any better.

EllenK said...

What purpose, other than political posturing, does the NEA have in making such declarations? What does this have to do with education? On one hand, I can see that from the political leanings of NEW publications that they will almost always support the left in political settings rather than offering balanced views of all politicians and bills, but when they make such statements as a political policy position they cease to be an organization supporting education and simply become another quacking voice in the gaggle. I think they should be made to give up non-profit status if they use their forum to promote goals not directly linked to education. Furthermore, I think that rule needs to be applied to a number of tax exempt organizations that use the bully pulpit for political gain including churches. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that once an organization starts making rulings on situations outside of their area of expertise, they stop making any sort of marked improvement in their own designated area. Sure, individuals are free and clear to express and espouse any number of political views, but now we have large organizations such as the unions and churches and every hyphenated American group under the sun vying for attention. You just aren't going to make everyone happy. And I have long since resigned from TSTA, the Texas NEA affiliate, because it's too expensive and I don't like my fees going to pay for lobbyists that are discussing anything other than education.

Darren said...

I don't even want them focusing on education. That's the responsibility of the taxpayers through their legislature and elected school boards.

When a union gets *my* money, I want them working on *my* pay, benefits, and working conditions, and nothing else. If the union wants to work on political things outside of those areas, they should be allowed to do so *only* with voluntarily donated money.