Irish gay teachers: Amendment does not go far enough to protect against discrimination

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Irish primary school teachers are concerned that proposed equality legislation may not go far enough to protect LGBT teachers against discrimination.

As part of the Employment Equality Bill, the Section 37 (1) does not consider religious schools as having discriminated when they sack people based on stopping an employee from “undermining the religious ethos of the institution.”

Despite a proposed amendment to Section 37, the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) says it would rather have the legislation abolished than amended.

Sheila Nunan, head of INTO, told the Irish Independent: “Amending a bad law does not change it. Section 37.1 causes real anxiety to teachers whose family status, sexual orientation or gender identity may be perceived as being in conflict with (a school’s) ethos.

“People of non-faith and minority religious backgrounds, and LGBT people should not be deterred from taking up employment as teachers.”