Teachers ‘fear for job prospects if they reveal LGBT identity’

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04/08/2021

There are about 4,000 primary teachers across Ireland who are uncomfortable revealing their LGBT identity to their employers, a conference heard. Many are afraid to come out about their sexual identity or gender orientation in case it will affect their chances of getting a job or gaining promotion. The problem persists despite 2015 legislation making it illegal for religious-run schools to discriminate against LGBT teachers over their sexuality. It is not necessarily an issue only in denominational schools, but they run 90pc of primary schools. Prior to the 2015 change they were exempt from certain aspects of equality law because of their ethos and teachings, something they had sought under earlier legislation. Incoming Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) president Joe McKeown told the union’s annual conference that much had been achieved in recent years in terms of protecting employment opportunities for teachers, north and south, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

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