The nation’s largest teachers’ union introduced a resolution this week to remove an ex-gay group’s booth from the exhibit hall at their annual meeting in Boston thus rectifying a mistake that they made in 2007 by allowing the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus to be allowed to have booth space after Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) accused them of discrimination for denying PFOX space at the 2002, and 2003 conventions.
The NEA (National Education Association) is seeking to “immediately remove” the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus exhibit “on the grounds that this exhibit violates existing NEA exhibitor standards.” Those standards state that “exhibitors may not distribute materials that are offensive, distracting, or discriminatory.”
According to its website, the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus’ purpose is to “eliminate intolerance and discrimination against ex-gay students, teachers, and their supporters.” The group defines an ex-gay as someone who has “unwanted same gender attractions” and “does not want to embrace a homosexual identity.”
The groups’ founder Jeralee Smith a teacher and Seven Day Adventist “pastor” said the ex-gay caucus was created in response to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus, which also had a booth at the convention.
“We’re here because they’re here”
Smith it turns out is also anti-union and only holds a membership to union bust from within. She is also the President of the Conservative Educators Caucus and in the past has claimed that the NEA’s web page on LGBT students is all part of the union’s “ongoing agenda to legitimize homosexuality”
The resolution to remove the Ex-Gay Educators booth is currently “awaiting debate” and will be voted at the national conference this week.