.- A Catholic teacher in Ohio was told she could only be exempt from paying union dues to the Ohio Education Association (OEA), if she changed religions. The teacher had requested and exemption after learning that the dues would assist in the promotion of abortion.
Carol Katter, a mathematics and language arts instructor in the St. Mary’s district, filed a federal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Columbus this week over an Ohio law that prevents her from diverting her dues from a union that supports abortion on demand, reported CNSNews.com.
The state law allows only those public employees who belong to two particular denominations, who have history of objection to union membership — Seventh-Day Adventist and Mennonite — the right to claim religious objection to paying union dues.
Katter filed the complaint against top officials of the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) for religious discrimination. She filed a related charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against her union. She claims a union official told her to pay forced dues or "change religions."
Katter's complaint says the Ohio statute amounts to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. She wants a federal injunction prohibiting SERB from further enforcing the law against other state employees.
Katter explained that her request was turned down "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. In my little parish church, no one's ever done this, and that's what threw it out."