The Government yesterday passed through a report stage bill that will amend Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act.
The amendment will allow employees working in religious run organisations, such as schools and hospitals, to be open about their sexuality without fear of dismissal.
INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group welcome the amendment, saying that the change will have a hugely positive effect on teachers.
Speaking outside the Seanad, Chairperson of the INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group Anne Marie Lillis commented, “LGB teachers can be secure in the knowledge that speaking about our families and our relationships, in the same way as our colleagues and that being gay or lesbian will have no bearing on job security or on prospects for promotion. When signed into law this legislation will end the threat of discrimination in primary schools based on sexual orientation.”
Sheila Nunan General Secretary of the INTO added, “The INTO has always advocated for the equal treatment of our members and to remove the weight of discrimination being felt on the grounds of sexual orientation. These amendments will further that aim and ensure that the lives of our teaching colleagues significantly improve. It is a victory for all teachers in our classrooms throughout the country. This is the culmination of the hard work our members of the LGBT Teachers’ Group have done over many years”.
The Bill has to still pass the final stage before being introduced into law. The INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group acknowledged the work of Senator Ivana Bacik, Minister Aodhán O Ríordáin, Senator Averil Power and Senator Katherine Zappone who worked in progressing the Bill.