July 2nd, 2009 Posted in Gay Marriage, News, Take Action!
The National Education Association (NEA) – the nation’s largest teachers union with more than 3 million members – could be poised to vote on a brazen endorsement of gay marriage at its annual convention in San Diego this weekend, according to sources attending the convention.
NEA members obtained a draft of a proposed business item that declares the organization’s support of legal recognition to same-sex couples, which would amount to an endorsement of gay marriage and civil unions. The draft proposal also goes so far as to openly declare support of efforts to “repeal any federal legislation." This appears to be a reference to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents states from being forced to recognize same-sex unions performed outside their borders.
The draft version also declares that the NEA would support efforts to oppose constitutional amendments – a less-than-subtle reference to measures like Prop 8, a law in California recently upheld by the state’s highest court, defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.
NEA caucus members could vote on the issue as early as Friday.
Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said this represents an adult, political agenda that has nothing to do with education or a child’s best interest.
"This is especially egregious when you consider that teachers in California contributed more to support the traditional, man-woman marriage amendment than they did to defeat it," she said. "If the NEA is so brazen to use its resources to push government-sanctioned same-sex unions — and oppose voter-supported traditional marriage laws — this would unnecessarily alienate a large portion of its members, not to mention contradict the viewpoints of a majority of the public whose tax money funds public schools."
Sissy Jochmann, leader of the Conservative Educators Caucus of the NEA, said this action item is not what’s best for future generations.
"Over the years, we’ve been involved in the union to be a voice for conservative values we believe in. We know that even though we’re a small group, we represent a much larger group of teachers throughout the country.
Jeralee Smith, a founder of the Conservative Educators Caucus, said the focus needs to be on education, not politics.
"I believe if the union could get out of the far left agenda … and just focus on education that it would be a great boon to society," she said. "But I believe it tears society down with some of the efforts that it extends."
TAKE ACTION Contact the NEA pressroom at 619-525-6377 and ask them to reject any proposed business items calling for legal recognition of same-sex unions.
You can also contact the NEA state affiliates.