By Gudrun Schultz

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2006 ( – The U.S. National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, has voted strongly in favour of supporting legal homosexual “marriages” and civil unions, AgapePress reported last week.

NEA delegates approved a resolution that would amend Section B-10 of the NEA handbook, “Racism, Sexism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification Discrimination” to explicitly include homosexual “marriage”, where the union statement of belief declares that discrimination based on “race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification…must be eliminated.”

The amendment reads:

“The Association also believes that these factors should not affect the legal rights and obligations of the partners in a legally-recognized domestic partnership, civil union, or marriage in regard to matters involving the other partner, such as medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, and immigration.”

The original amendment, proposed by the union’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus, called for the union’s endorsement of homosexual “marriages”, civil unions and homosexual adoptions in all 50 states, regardless of the states’ current laws. That amendment was changed to specify the union’s endorsement of homosexual “marriages” and civil unions only in states where such unions are legally recognized.

The NEA Resolutions Committee crafted the changes after the original amendment generated a massive protest from concerned individuals, led by the American Family Association.

In response to the protests, NEA President Reg Weaver wrote to state affiliate leaders: “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.”

The union is also pushing for the mandatory inclusion of homosexual, bisexual and transgender issues in required content for teacher accreditation. The Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identification issued a report stating, “that the NEA advocate for the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in the ‘National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education’ review of the teacher education program, reported AgapePress.

The NEA anti-discrimination policy calls for programs to “encourage all members of the educational community to examine assumptions and prejudices, including…racism, sexism and homophobia.”

The union also voted to alter the wording of NEA policy statements, adopting the word “acceptance” in place of the word “tolerance.”

To contact the NEA and express concerns:

1201 16th Street, NW
  Washington, DC 20036-3290

Phone: 202-833-4000



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