Equality Bill 2013 Enters Second Stage In the Dáil


The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 enters the second stage in the Dáil today, having already passed through the Seanad.

The Bill, if passed, will amend the provisions of Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Act to remove the ‘chill factor’ for LGBT employees of religious run institutions. Currently, religious run institutions, such as hospitals and schools have the legal right to dismiss employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity if it conflicts with their religious ethos. 

This Bill is the necessary piece of the legislative map that will allow LGBT people to get married and have a family without a threat to their job if they work in a religious run institution. It is fitting that the Bill comes to the final stages in the Oireachtas in the week, as the first lesbian and gay couples get married,” stated Sandra Irwin-Gowran, Director of Education Policy with GLEN.

“This legislation, while not perfect, is a very important stage in bringing an end to the situation where  LGBT employees of religious, medical and educational institutions have to hide their sexual orientation, gender identity, civil or family status”, continued Sandra Irwin-Gowran.

“The Bill, when it completes its passage through the Dáil, will give much greater legal confidence to LGBT people working in religious run employments that are funded by the tax payer, to live openly and enjoy the same employment protections as their co-workers” said Irwin-Gowran.

“GLEN affirms the principle that every employee should enjoy equal protections in their workplace and in their recruitment and promotion prospects. This Bill moves a major step closer to that principle for those working in publicly funded institutions.

GLEN also highlights where further progress remains to be made for privately funded religious-run institutions and for trans people.

“The same protections should be available for employees of privately funded institutions under the control of a religious body, which would include increased certainty for all employees under all equality grounds.  While many transgender employees are covered under the gender ground and therefore through the provisions of this Bill, further protections to ensure that all trans employees are equally protected remain to be addressed,” concluded Irwin-Gowran.

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