The Mayor of South Dublin County and Sinn Féin Councillor for Templeogue-Terenure Fintan Warfield has this evening welcomed the passing of a motion calling on the government to amend Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act 1998.

South Dublin County Council voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion.

Speaking during the debate, Mayor Warfield said;

“South Dublin County Council supports the right of every LGBT person to live their lives openly and without fear. However, this basic human right is denied to many LGBT Teachers and other employees of institutions that claim a religious ethos, through the continued existence of Section 37.1 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 which provides a broad opt-out from equality legislation for such institutions.

“We note that government has committed to amending Section 37.1 and we call for the legislation to be altered as a matter of urgency, and certainly before next Spring’s referendum on marriage equality. No LGBT person should have to choose between their job and making a public lifelong commitment to their loved one.”

Following the passing of the Mayors business, Warfield said;

“The right of employers to select candidates on the basis of a genuine occupational requirement is already enshrined in other provisions of the Employment Equality Act. Section 37.1 is both unnecessary and repugnant to the principles of equality and non-discrimination. It is also in conflict with EU framework directive law.

“I welcome the passing of this motion and the commitment from South Dublin County Council together with the LGBT community, the trade union movement and others in engaging directly on this issue with Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, the Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality.