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Union Sued For Supporting Gays


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Union Sued For Supporting Gays

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: August 2, 2005 8:00 pm ET

(Chattanooga, Tennessee) Does someone have the right to withhold their union dues if they disagree with its policies? That is the essence of a lawsuit about to be heard in a Tennessee court.

Teacher Dewey Esquinance is suing his union over its spending on campaigns to promote "abortion and homosexual rights."

Esquinance's suit challenges union rules that require him to relinquish his membership if he wants to withhold dues the unions spend on certain political issues.

Tuesday a state appeals court ruled the suit should go to trial.

The suit was first filed in April 2003, but a Polk County judge dismissed the case.

In its ruling the appeals court overturned the lower court decision saying the judge had erred in law. The ruling means the case returns to the lower court.

Esquinance is represented by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, an organization which fights against "closed shops".

If Esquinance ultimately prevails, teachers in the state would have the right to remain union members and withhold dues spent by the National Education Association "on ideological activities."

“It seems that NEA officials are not as concerned with representing employees as they are with shaking them down to finance a radical political agenda,” said Foundation Vice President Stefan Gleason.

The group is fighting similar union requirements in several states.

©365Gay.com 2005


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