Bill on way to prevent bias against gay teachers
JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald says a new bill that will prevent schools from discriminating against gay and lesbian teachers will be published this year.
Ms Fitzgerald stated in her opening remarks to the UN Human Rights Committee that Section 37 of the Constitution had been "unfair" and had caused "a chilling effect" on members of the LGBT community who had sought work in schools, as well as hospitals and other state-run institutions.
Section 37 is the provision that allows religious-owned institutions to discriminate against employees or prospective employees if the institution deems it necessary to protect its "religious ethos".
Ms Fitzgerald said: "Experience subsequently has shown that the balance has not been a fair one in practice."
Gay and Lesbian Equality Director Brian Sheehan welcomed the announcement by Ms Fitzgerald, and said that nobody's career should be in jeopardy because of their sexuality.
"Our goal is a bill that carries neither a threat, nor a perception of a threat, that someone can lose their job because they are gay or lesbian," he said.