By Victor Skinner

CHICAGO – The Chicago Teachers Union is coming out of the closet on a very critical educational issue: gay marriage.

Instead of focusing on ways to improve the city’s abysmal 54 percent high school graduation rate, the union is taking on the social issue “for two reasons – the equality it will help bring to our union members who are in committed, same-sex relationships, and the stability it will provide for the children and families we serve,” CTU President Karen Lewis said in a statement.

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The CTU is hoping to use its political clout to pressure the Illinois General Assembly into approving pending legislation to legalize gay marriage in the state, the Chicago Phoenix reports.

“The CTU contends that passing the bill will redefine notions of family, and will ultimately increase the possibility of children throughout the state to grow up in nurturing, stable environments,” according to the news site.

Meanwhile, thousands of children in Chicago will continue to attend dangerous, failing schools. As a result, only about 54 percent graduate high school. Studies have shown that only a mere six out of 100 Chicago Public Schools students earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25, and it’s only about 3 percent for black and Latino students.

While we’re skeptical of the CTU’s claim that approving gay marriage in Illinois will somehow create “nurturing, stable environments” for CPS students at home, we have to wonder if it really matters at all. How can gay marriage, and by extension the harmonious home environment it magically creates, improve learning when CPS schools remain volatile, dangerous failure factories?