FF Announce Full Support For New Employment Equality Bill

Fianna Fáil have given their full support to the new Employment Equality (Amendment) Bill 2015, which seeks to end the possibility of teachers and nurses who are gay fearing discrimination where they work in a religious run institution.

The party's spokesperson on Education, Charlie McConalogue, said: "As a republican party, we are committed to fighting discrimination in all forms. Fianna Fáil introduced similar legislation to this in May 2012 in the Seanad; however, it was rejected by the Government. While the current exemption clause in employment legislation for religious institutions is rarely, if ever, used, this legislation is important as it will finally end the 'chill effect' experienced by gay employees working in schools, hospitals and other institutions which have a religious ethos.

"This Government has broken a commitment given in the Programme for Government to change this situation.   It has refused to take the necessary steps to improve the situation for gay and lesbian workers, despite being pushed by Fianna Fáil to do so.

"LGBT staff working in the education and health sectors continue to have a threat hanging over them.  Many feel they have to conceal their sexual orientation in order to secure and retain their jobs.  This is unfair and should not be allowed to continue.  Workers should be judged on their performance not on their sexuality.

"The Bill being brought forward this week allows for a religious institution to give favourable treatment on the grounds of religion where the religion or belief of the employee constitutes a justified occupational requirement.  Fianna Fáil believes that this creates the necessary legislative balance to ensure the law would not be ruled as unconstitutional under Article 44 of the Constitution of Ireland, and we will be fully supporting the Bill”.


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