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Teachers union honors influential religious leader who blasted its lawsuit

The statewide teachers union on Friday will honor Bishop Victor T. Curry with its Human and Civil Rights Leadership Award.

That's the same Bishop Victor T. Curry who last month blasted the union's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the school voucher program.

Members of the Florida Education Association's Human and Civil Rights Committee said they chose Curry, an influential religious leader in Miami who also has a popular radio show, for his "unwavering dedication to the less fortunate, the overlooked and the disenfranchised."

"His involvement in local, state, and even national issues, that affect civil rights of so many have made a difference in the advancement of people, not just of color, but of all races and gender background," United Teachers of Dade President Fedrick Ingram said in a statement. "Bishop Curry believes in and stands up for what is right and fair for all people."

Last month, Curry decried the FEA's efforts to end the school voucher program in a letter to The Miami Herald.

Other influential ministers, including the Rev. H.K. Matthews, asked Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist to take a similar position on the lawsuit. Crist refused -- a move Matthews said could hurt Crist's standing among black voters.

The FEA is supporting Crist's bid for re-election.

Curry was scheduled to be honored Friday during the union's annual Delegate Assembly in Orlando. 

A Florida Education Association spokesman said the faith-based leader would not be able to attend the event.