By Hilary White
June 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Once Carol Katter, an Ohio teacher, had rejected the suggestion by a union official that she “change religions” in order to be able to claim the right to conscientious objection about the destination of her union dues, she took her case to court. Katter objected to the fact that teachers in Ohio must pay union dues to the Ohio Education Association (OEA), a portion of which dues goes to support abortion.
Yesterday, however, an Ohio federal district court ruled as unconstitutional a rule restricting to particular denominations the right to religious-based objection to union dues.
In January, Katter, a lifelong Catholic and mathematics and language arts instructor, filed a complaint against the Ohio State Employment Relations Board (SERB) and the Ohio Education Association (OEA) union, a state affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), claiming that the requirement to pay dues violated her constitutional right to the free practice of her religious beliefs.
The National Education Association (NEA) is a fervent supporter of abortion and is active in the homosexual political movement to redefine marriage and promote homosexuality.
The Catholic teacher, however, soon discovered that only members of the Seventh-day Adventist and Mennonite churches were recognized by the union as exempted from paying the dues. Katter “pleaded” with union officials to have her dues diverted to charity, but the union refused and told her she needed to “change religions” to get the exemption.
According to Katter her request was refused, “Basically because I could not come up with proof that my individual church – not the Catholic faith, but my individual church – had a record of anyone having successfully fought a union.”
Katter said that she “very excited” about the recent court ruling in her favor. “There are a lot of employees and teachers who do not know about this and have always thought that they just had no choice but to pay their dues,” she said. “I’m thrilled about what it means for us to have the freedom not to support something we object to on moral grounds.”
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