Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (pictured), says he plans to advance legislation to amend Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Act which allows religious run institutions to discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Ó Ríordáin stated, “In its current form, this section of this Act allows religious institutions to discriminate against employees who may contradict their ethos. 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,” he added.
The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) have welcomed the Labour TD’s commitment to amend Section 37, saying, “[TUI] has vigorously campaigned for an 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.
“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 is very welcome news.”
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