Irish parliament bans religious discrimination against LGBTI people
Irish parliament has passed an amendment to the Employment Equality Act to remove exemptions which previously allowed religious institutions to discriminate against LGBTI people.
The bill amends Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act, which previously allowed schools and hospitals to takes action to prevent employees from “undermining the religious ethos of the institution”.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) said the amendment would remove the ‘chill factor’ for the LGBTI employees of religious schools.
“We are delighted that this Bill has passed all stages in the Dáil (Irish parliament) tonight. This Bill is the key piece of the legislative map that will allow LGBT people to be themselves, get married and have a family without a threat to their job if they work in a religious run institution” said Sandra Irwin-Gowran, Director of Education Policy with GLEN.
“To date Section 37.1 has served to create a chilling effect for many LGBT employees. The existing provisions posed a threat of discrimination which has served to silence thousands of teachers in our schools” said Irwin-Gowran.
Irwin-Gowran said the Bill will go a long way towards thawing the threat hanging over LGBT and other employees.
“GLEN affirms the principle that every employee should enjoy equal protections in their workplace and in their recruitment and promotion prospects. This Bill removes a major barrier to that principle for those working in publicly funded institutions. We also note where further progress remains to be made for privately funded religious-run institutions, for trans people and for those of no religion” said Irwin Gowran.
The bill has already passed the Senate and will now go to the president for signing.