IRELAND: Approved Bill Protects LGBT Teachers

Big news for LGBT teachers in Ireland, where the Catholic Church runs most public schools. From the Irish Journal:

The Dail has passed a Bill that will make it illegal for religious-run schools to discriminate against LGBT teachers over their sexuality. The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 amends the provisions of Section 37(1) of the Employment Equality Act. It has already passed through the Seanad, and will now go to the President for signing. Section 37 allows for discrimination against workers based on their family status and sexual orientation.

The Gay & Lesbian Equality Network reacts:

We are delighted that this Bill has passed all stages in the Dáil tonight. This Bill is the key piece of the legislative map that will allow LGBT people to be themselves, get married and have a family without a threat to their job if they work in a religious run institution.

(Tipped by JMG reader Gerard)

  • Gustav2

    YAY! See USA, it can be done.

    • Reality.Bites

      A difference, probably a key difference, is that these Catholic-run schools are public, not private. Separation of church and state in the USA likely makes it impossible to protect teachers (and students!) in Catholic and other religious schools.

      • Gustav2

        But in most dioceses the local school authority is giving them tax monies.

        • BobSF_94117

          In most dioceses? I don’t think so. Vouchers are, of course, a problem.

          • Gustav2

            Even without vouchers, yes, check you local school boards finances. In many, many places it is a requirement that the parochial schools receive a per pupil stipend. Or they receive bus transportation and other services.

          • Sporkfighter

            Where does this happen? Certainly not in California.

          • Gustav2

            Ohio for one state

        • Smartypants

          I went to a Quaker college during the Reagan era and they declined all federal funding, including research grants, so they could refuse military recruiters from campus. They had to increase private scholarship funding to offset the loss of federal student aid, but that was the moral choice they made as a faith-based institution. You take the consequences for adhering to your beliefs.

          • Gustav2

            There are a few Protestant Christian schools that are now dropping all Federal funding including student loans.

      • Gustav2

        And this is a problem:

        Religious Colleges Are Getting Legal Permission To Discriminate Against Trans Students

        • Herald

          A very big problem, indeed. There is still a massive amount of work to be done here.

          • lol–just ask any American Indian…

          • Herald

            One of my good friends is a Lipan Apache, you right about this!

        • BobSF_94117

          They’re private schools. If they want to discriminate, they have that right. I’m fine with that… let them wither and die.

          • Gustav2

            But they are receiving tax dollars thru Pell grants, etc.

          • BobSF_94117

            Even if they’re receiving tax dollars through grants and scholarships. Religious schools already discriminate — legally — against other religions. I have no problem with them continuing to do so. BUT they can’t discriminate against ONLY gay and transgender people — they have to be broader than that (like no divorced or no apostates or no adultery or no dancing).

          • Gustav2

            A long time ago, in the 1950’s, when the government got into the GI Bill, they could. In the 1960’s, that changed in the Title X law. Many religious universities had to spin off their seminaries, making them ‘independent.’ even Notre Dame. Little by little, Congress has tried to carve out religious exemptions. Many Lutheran colleges and universities are still playing by the old rules of the Civil Rights Act and not discriminating re: religion. So much so, they have to be careful with administrating scholarships directly related to brand of faith.

            There are very very few truly private colleges and universities in the US. Not even fucking Harvard.

          • Steve Teeter

            Fucking Harvard indeed. Their endowment is so huge that free tuition to every single student would hardly make a dent in it.

  • Blake Jordan

    The Republic of Ireland is moving at light speed to protect its LGBT citizens, at least compared to other countries (one in particular).

    • David Walker

      You noticed, huh?

  • BearEyes

    Way to go, Ireland!

  • A “Minister for Equality” would be a good idea for the US. But that would mean persecution!!!! for some groups

  • TuuxKabin

    Well it gets better in some countries.

    • Silver Badger

      It has become A LOT better in the USA as well. Nigeria and Uganda, not so much.

      • TuuxKabin

        I was thinking of Kathy, in Queens, NY, who was nearly killed the other night. Her and the community. It’s kinda easy to lose sight. For me anyway with all the rest of the lousy news coming down. Some times I feel like I’m bracing myself for ‘what next?’

        • Silver Badger

          Nothing like you would if the next president were any of the GOP candidates.

  • James

    USA! USA! Oh wait.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    …and slowly, but ever so surely, the dominoes continue to fall.

  • GanymedeRenard

    Kudos to Ireland!!

  • Gerard

    This law will also protect couples “living in sin”, or unmarried teachers who have a baby. In Ireland, over 90% of primary schools are Catholic, although they are 100% government funded.
    All other employers have been subject to pretty comprehensive equality legislation since 2000…

    • ChrisMorley

      It also protects the LGBT medical staff working in Ireland’s many publicly funded hospitals and health care facilities ‘run’ by the church.

  • Baby Dave

    I love Ireland. I haven’t got a drop of Irish blood in me, but I adore that country.

  • ChrisMorley

    The Bill also protects LGBT people working in Ireland’s many publicly funded hospitals run under a religious-ethos, not just schools.
    The Bill must allow religious schools and hospitals their Constitutional right to ‘protect their religious ethos’, but it very seriously restricts when and how these can attempt to protect their ‘religious ethos’.
    Schools and hospitals can now only take action against an employee who is LGBT if s/he has already done something ‘which [they believe] undermines or would undermine the religious ethos of the institution’.
    This means they can’t pick on any LGBT employee just because of their sexuality or gender.

    Secondly any action they do take against someone who they believe has ‘undermined the religious ethos’ of the school or hospital must
    – be ‘proportionate to the conduct of the employee or prospective employee,
    – [have] regard to alternative actions the employer could take,
    – [and] the consequences of any action taken for the employee or prospective employee,
    – and the actual damage caused to the religious ethos of the institution.’

    It’s not perfect, but it is a pretty neat attempt to protect against any LGBT employment discrimination whilst leaving a fig-leaf of constitutional allowance for schools and hospitals to ‘protect their religious ethos’.

  • Maggie 4NoH8


  • billbear1961

    Thank the gods for some good news today!!

    We are growing accustomed to wonderful progress in the civilized nation of Ireland!!

    Good work, and congratulations!!