Congress welcomes amendment to Section 37.1

8 Dec 2015

Congress is pleased that its long held demand for amendment or deletion of Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act has finally happened as part of the the Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013. This will make it illegal for religious run schools to discriminate against LGBT teachers on the grounds of their sexuality.

The section permited institutions with a religious ethos to give preferential treatment on the grounds of religion to an employee or prospective employee where it is reasonable to do so in order to maintain the ethos of the school and to take action where it is reasonably necessary to prevent staff from undermining the religious ethos of the institution and the provision had a chilling effect on LGBT workers in religious run institutions.

The amendment has been welcomed by the INTO LGBT Teachers' group as a "positive step towards inclusivity in schools". Diarmaid de Paor Deputy General Secretary and Equality Officer of the ASTI, said “When enacted this amendment will mean that schools will no longer have the right to discriminate against LGBT teachers on the grounds of maintaining their religious ethos".  The TUI has also campaigned vigorously on this issue and welcomes the passing of the legislation as a very positive step towards full inclusivity in Irish schools.