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Possible implications to recent EU ruling over discrimination against gay teachers

The EU have backed the Irish Governments stance on allowing church schools to sack teachers who are openly gay, they had originally warned that the provision was not compatible with EU anti-discrimination legislation. The Irish government have successfully argued that this was a narrow exception to equal treatment.

The Commission accepted that an employee should not undermine the "ethos" of an institution they work for, such as a Roman Catholic school or hospital. 95% of primary schools in the Republic are Catholic-run.

In theory the same precedent may apply to people who are divorced, have children out of wedlock, and perhaps also of different religious backgrounds. The ruling has been heavily criticised by equality activists arguing that it would just prevent Lesbian and Gay teachers in Ireland coming out. The ruling also opens up the possibility of other member states following suit.

Talking to pinknews.co.uk Shelia Crowley of the The Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) group of the Irish National Teachers said that her members faced
"isolation, alienation, harassment, discrimination and downright bigotry" on a regular basis and stated that only six out of the 35 members were in a position to be open about their sexuality in school.

At  present no EU law protects LGB people from discrimination in areas such as goods and services similar to those which cover race and gender.

Posted by, Asif Yusuf

 

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