The Irish government announced on June 28th that under an employment law amendment to be passed shortly, schools will no longer be allowed to fire teachers based on family status or sexual orientation.
The news came on the same day as Dublin’s biggest ever Pride Parade, with an estimated attendance of 40,000.
The amendment, jointly submitted by Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, will repeal section 37 of the Employment Equality Act of 1998, which currently allows religious institutions to discriminate “where it is reasonable to do so in order to maintain the religious ethos of the institution”.
Speaking to The Journal, Labour Senator Ivana Bacik said that there were delays in the repeal of section 37 of the Employment Equality Act in order to ensure that the legislation was “robust enough":
“The Department of Education have been keen to progress it as it affects teachers in their everyday work. Teachers unions have been campaigning for this for a long time. While it has never been used to dismiss someone, it has still been present for teachers. It struck fear in teachers who were fearful of sharing personal details about their personal lives with colleagues and that really is unsatisfactory.”
According to the Irish Times, the proposal to repeal Section 37 will come before government ministers today. Following approval, the proposals will be passed on to the lower and upper houses of the Irish legislature.
The change in legislation has had cross-party support within the Irish legislature.
In an interview before his May election, Bulgarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Angel Dzhambazki described Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst as a “bearded creature.”
In the same interview, Dzhambazki said that recognition of the intersexed as a third gender is “absolutely an unacceptable targeting of humanity against nature.”
Speaking to One Europe, Dzhambazki said:
“A beard lady became a symbol of the Old continent a few days ago. This bearded creature, called with the European name Conchita Wurst is like genetically modified organism and won the Eurovision. And I wonder, if the vice of our time is that we tolerate the perversity. I don’t want such a song contest for my children.”
Yesterday, Dzhambazki was accepted into the Eurosceptic centre-right Conservative Party’s ECR group in the European Parliament, along with Irish MEP Brian Crowley.
Speaking to Pink News, English Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said:
“The public deserves an explanation as to why Conservative MEPs have agreed to share a platform with this divisive and hateful figure who is so out of touch with British values of tolerance and compassion. By associating themselves with such an openly racist and homophobic politician the Tories are dancing with the devil.”
Dzhambazki, a member of the Bulgaria Without Censorship party which is aligned with the Bulgarian National Movement, has also been accused of inciting hatred against immigrants, calling on the citizens of Sofia to "clean up" Bulgaria's capital city and take “self-defence actions” by establishing “volunteer patrols and units”.
Check out Conchita Wurst's winning Eurovision performance, AFTER THE JUMP...
Fresh off her Eurovision win, Conchita Wurst appeared on The Graham Norton Show to discuss her attachment to the trophy, the support she received from Cher, why she has the beard, and what she's doing next.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Moscow officials have put the kibosh on a parade planned to honor Eurovision winner and bearded drag performer Conchita Wurst, the Guardian reports:
Citing the risk of violence and the need to "respect morality", Moscow's security department denied an application for the Conchita Wurst March of Bearded Women and Men, which was due to take place on 27 May...
...On Thursday, a representative for Moscow's security department announced that the parade had been rejected.
"We informed them that the event could not take place," Alexei Mayorov explained to Interfax. While the Associated Press reported that there were "concerns [the march] would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents", Mayorov told Interfax that the city's decision rested on their wish to "respect morality in the education of the younger generation".
Eurovision 2014 Host Pilou Asbaek Was Banned From Wearing Rainbow Colors Because It Was ‘Too Political’
One of the hosts from Eurovision 2014, actor and director Pilou Asbaek, has revealed that Eurovision organizers banned him from wearing rainbow colors during the broadcast because it would be “too political.” The Independent reports that Asbaek wanted to wear the rainbow colors in protest of anti-gay laws in Europe:
"I asked them if I can wear rainbows. No. We're not allowed to be political. It's about music, not politics.”
He went onto say: “But music and politics, you cannot divide them. Not in my mind.”
Though Asbaek was not allowed to visually demonstrate his support for LGBT rights at this year’s Eurovision, there was ample evidence of support for LGBT equality among the crowd at the competition in Copenhagen:
Members of the audience in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark were seen waving rainbow flags during the evening. Meanwhile the Icelandic entry Pollapoenk sang a song called 'No Prejudice', which called for equality for all.
This year’s Eurovision contest notably saw the victory of drag performer Conchita Wurst of Austria. Wurst has sadly been criticized for her gender identity, being called “it” by Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky and a “pervert” by Vitaly Milonov, the author of Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law. However, despite the criticism from prominent Russian figures, Wurst’s track, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” has risen to the top of the iTunes charts in Russia following her win.
In case you missed it, you can watch Wurst's winning performance HERE.