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?