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Dublin: 14°C Friday 23 April 2021

"Historic day" as LGBT teachers' group meet President

The group is part of the INTO union.

TEACHERS FROM THE INTO union’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Teachers’ Group will meet with the President today as they celebrate a significant anniversary.

They will meet President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin in what they described as an “historic” occasion.

The meeting comes as moves are being made to scrap a section of the Employment Act that has led some teachers to say they are afraid to tell their employers about their sexuality.

The group campaigns for greater equality and visibility for LGBT teachers in Ireland’s primary schools. It was invited to meet President Higgins in recognition of its tenth anniversary.

The group’s chairperson Anne Marie Lillis said:

It will be an historic day for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered teachers of Ireland.We are truly honoured by the invitation to meet President Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin and it is particularly fitting that it occurs on the occasion of the group’s tenth anniversary

Last month, Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said he intends on beginning the process of scrapping Section 37 of the Employment Act.

This section allows for discrimination against workers based on their family status and sexual orientation.

“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,” said Ó Riordáin.

A number of teachers spoke to TheJournal.ie about their experiences of being part of the LGBT community in Ireland.

Read: In Your Words: Being a gay teacher in Ireland>

Read: Gay rights group gives cautious welcome to change in discrimination laws>

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