Irish Equality Minister Promises To Strengthen LGBT Workplace Protections

The luck of the Irish ain't no joke. In the wake of the country's historic popular vote on marriage equality, and the government's adoption of expanded same-sex parental and family rights, Minister of State for Equality Aodhan O Riordain has unveiled plans to extend workplace protections for teachers and staff at religious schools and hospitals.

According to Out Magazine, which cites The Irish Times, says the current law allows denominational institutions to discriminate against potential and current employees if it is felt an individual "undermines their ethos." While O Riordain  feels a repeal of that section of the law would be unconstitutional (and if these organizations are privately funded, it would be), he contends it could be worked around by “rais[ing] the bar of the ‘undermining’ to be so high as to be irrelevant what somebody’s personal life would be.”

“Effectively you have a situation where an awful lot of teachers in primary and secondary schools would have voted Yes [in the marriage referendum] on Friday, would have gone out and celebrated over the weekend, possibly went back into their staff rooms on Monday morning and didn’t tell anybody what they were up to because they felt it would impact on their promotion prospects in the school," he said.

O Riordain believes the momentum of the marriage equality vote will lead to amendment of the law.