Proposals Herald "Partial Thaw" in Institutional Discrimination says Rights Watchdog

Press release, 13 March 2013
 
Ireland’s human rights watchdog, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has today (13 March 2013) welcomed legislative proposals that it says could lead to a "partial thaw" in institutional discrimination against LGBT persons by publicly-funded institutions.
 
The Employment Equality (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2013 - published last week by Senator Ivana Bacik and TDs Aodhan Ó’Riordan, John Lyons, Ciara Conway and Dominic Hannigan - seeks to
restrict the circumstances in which publically-funded institutions can rely on the so-called "religious ethos" exemption to justify discriminating against employees or prospective employees on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation and civil status. Privately run institutions would continue to be exempt.
 
Commenting in advance of a Seanad debate on the Bill this afternoon, ICCL Spokesperson Walter Jayawardene said:
 
“The likely impact of this Bill would be to create a partial thaw in the chilling effect that the law currently has on LGBT people openly acknowledging their sexuality in the workplace.”

“This initiative is welcome, but it does not completely remove the so-called "religious ethos" exemption to employment equality law. Passage of the Bill in its current form would merely create an additional hurdle for religiously-run institutions in receipt of public monies that wish to discriminate against employees or prospective employees."

"Consideration should also be given to broadening the current definition of gender to include Trans and inter-sex people, who are currently without recognition in Irish law and cannot avail of existing legal provisions on gender discrimination."

"Equality is a binary state, either one is equal or one is not, and it is the ICCL's view the Oireachtas should seize this opportunity to eradicate all forms of discrimination from institutions in receipt of public funds".
 
ENDS

For further information contact:

Walter Jayawardene
Communications Manager
Irish Council for Civil Liberties
9-13 Blackhall Place
Dublin 7
Ireland

Tel. + 353 1 799 4503
Mob: +353 87 9981574   
Fax. + 353 1 799 4512
 
E-mail  walter.jayawardene@iccl.ie
Web     www.iccl.ie

 Note to editor
 
•         The Employment Equality (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2013 - published by Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik and TDs Aodhan Ó’Riordan, John Lyons, Ciara Conway and Dominic Hannigan  on 7 March 2013. It will be debated in Seanad Eireann today from 5.30 pm.

•       The Bill seeks to significantly amend controversial Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act 1998, which provides an exemption for private or publicly funded religiously controlled educational or medical institutions, allowing them to take “reasonably necessary” action to prevent an employee or prospective employee “from undermining” its religious ethos.

•        If enacted the bill would restrict the circumstances in which publically-funded religious institutions could rely on the ‘religious ethos’ exemption to justify discrimination against an employee or potential employee on the basis of their gender identity, sexual orientation and civil status. Privately run institutions would continue to be exempt.


Bookmark and Share
Web Design By Marlton Media