Well stone me - who'd thunk it......and Martin is supporting this too, amazing though that they never found time to do this in the decade plus they were in power.....http://ionainstitute.org/index.php?id=1972
FF proposal to restrict rights of denominational schools
Date: 22nd February 2012
Proposals which would restrict faith schools from having the right to choose their staff have been tabled in the Seanad by Fianna Fáil.
Fianna Fáil Senator Averil Power, the party's Seanad spokesperson on education, has published legislation that would amend legislation which allowing religious institutions to refuse to hire people, including openly gay teachers if they feel this would compromise their ethos.
Her stance was backed by Fianna Fáil leader Mícheál Martin.
Currently, denominational schools, hospitals and other bodies have this capacity under Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act.
But the Fianna Fáil draft legislation, entitled the Employment Equality (Amendment) Bill 2012, would weaken this right.
It would insert the following clauses:
“"(7) Nothing in sub-section 1 may be relied upon by an institution referred to in sub-section 1 to justify or permit discrimination or to allow any action to be taken against any employee or potential employee on the basis of that employee’s or potential employee’s civil status or sexual orientation."
3. Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 is amended by inserting the following subsection immediately after sub-section (7) (as inserted by section 2 of this Act)
"(8) Nothing in sub-section 1 may be relied upon by an institution referred to in sub-section 1 to justify more favourable treatment of or in respect of one employee or potential employee over another employee or a potential employee on the basis of his or her civil status or sexual orientation."
Senator Power said the Programme for Government of the Coalition contains a commitment to change the status quo, which allows a school to claim that hiring a gay teacher would undermine their religious ethos. However, nothing had been done to date in relation to it, she said.
She described the current situation as, “completely unjust,” she said she was putting it up to the Government by publishing legislation and calling on it to accept it.
Senator Power also claimed “schools will still be entitled to insist that staff members demonstrate respect towards their ethos and not actively seek to undermine it” if the Bill was enacted. The amendment as currently worded, however, appears to contain no such saver.
The Bill has been welcomed by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Group.
“Removing the threat of section 37.1 would provide enormous and immediate relief for lesbian and gay teachers who just want to get on with their jobs without the constant threat of dismissal hanging over them,” said Cathal O’Riada, a primary school principal and the chair of INTO’s Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Group.