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It will soon be illegal to discriminate against gay teachers

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said he will be working on the amendment in the coming months.

Image: teacher via Shutterstock

A CHANGE IN legislation will ensure that public service workers cannot be discriminated against for their sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity.

That’s according to Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who plans to advance legislation to amend Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.

The Teachers Union of Ireland says it welcomes Ó Ríordáin’s commitment to end the current discrimination which exists for many teachers in schools.

The Labour TD said that:

In its current form, this section of this Act allows religious institutions to discriminate against employees who may contradict their ethos.

The union says that it “has vigorously campaigned for amendment of the act in order to remove the cloud of fear and intimidation which hangs over many of our members because of its continued existence”.

Ó Ríordáin added that, “This has been of particular concern to those in the education and health sectors where many schools and hospitals are funded by the state, but run by a religious order.”

The consequence of this Act can have a chilling effect on concerned workers who are divorced or are single parents, as well as members of the LGBT Community, as it can mean that they cannot be open about their status in their workplace.

“In education, it denies many young LGBT people role models, as their LGBT teachers cannot openly identify their sexuality.”

TUI added, “It should go without saying in 2014 that nobody should be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or family status. The Minister’s statement today is very welcome news.”

Read: Limerick Gardaí make history with rainbow flag at gay pride parade>

Read: Thousands expected to turn out for same-sex marriage rally in Dublin>

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