Alex Constantine - July 12, 2009
"Why are these conservative and right-wing bastards picking on NEA and its affiliates? I will tell you why: it is the price we pay for success. NEA and its affiliates have been singled out because they are the most effective unions in the U.S."
By Kathleen Gilbert
July 9, 2009
SAN DIEGO, California - The general counsel for the National Education Association (NEA), America's largest teacher's union, complained last week of the "conservative and right-wing bastards" that are "after" the NEA. At the same meeting, the NEA rejected a proposal that would have ceased their abortion advocacy, and went on record in support of same-sex "marriage."
"We are not paranoid, someone really is after us," said General Counsel Bob Chanin in an address to NEA affiliates on the occasion of his retirement. "Why are these conservative and right-wing bastards picking on NEA and its affiliates? I will tell you why: it is the price we pay for success. NEA and its affiliates have been singled out because they are the most effective unions in the U.S."
Chanin also noted that, in his opinion, NEA's advocacy is "effective" "not because of our creative ideas, it is not because of the merit of our positions, it is not because we care about children, and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child. NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power.
"And we have power because there are more than 3.2 million people who are willing to pay us hundreds of millions of dollars in dues each year because they believe that we are the union that can most effectively represent them."
Although the Obama administration is more friendly to the left-leaning NEA than the Bush administration was, lamented Chanin, "attacks by conservatives and right-wing troops will continue."
According to a Baptist Press (BP) report, NEA delegates at the July 1-6 meeting voted 69-31 to reject an amendment stating the union had "no position" on abortion, which would have invalidated a resolution professing the group's support for "family planning, including the right to reproductive freedom." While the NEA technically holds a "neutral" position on abortion, this amounts to promoting a women's ability to choose, an NEA member told BP.
Despite protests that the group's involvement in same-sex "marriage" was causing a loss in membership, delegates at the meeting adopted an action plan strengthening the NEA's support of homosexuality with a vow to support same-sex "marriage" or civil union legislation.
Specifically, the resolution stated the group would support the enactment of same-sex "marriage" laws, and fight both state and federal constitutional or statutory provisions defining marriage as between a man and a woman.