In a survey conducted in 2013, 73% of people in the Republic of Ireland said that “same sex marriage should be allowed in the Constitution” and in 2008, 84% said that they supported same-sex marriage rights and/or civil partnerships.
However, just because most of a country is in favour of marriage equality, it doesn’t mean that it is an all round tolerant one. Like many places in the world, progressive thinking is let down by pockets of anti-LGBT opinions.
The attitudes towards LGBT people have improved greatly in Ireland over the past few years but the predominantly Catholic country does trail behind some of its European brethren. For example, in the UK homosexuality became decriminalised between 1967 and 1982 but it took until 1993 for the same to happen in ROI.
Perhaps that fact is why it appears to have taken much longer for discrimination to be phased out of the Irish workplace. Although “most” forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation are illegal in the country, a new study deems that some people ignore this and that many gay and bisexual employees continue to face discrimination.
According to the survey, a massive 30% of gay and bisexual workers in Ireland have faced discrimination. While full details weren’t provided, we do know that the discrimination involved harassment and in 1 in 10 cases, the employee chose to quit their jobs over it.
Those figures are astonishing (again, since Ireland’s laws forbid this type of behaviour) and so the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) is launching Ireland’s very first Workplace Equality Index.
As explained by Director of Workplace Diversity at GLEN, Davin Roche in a statement below, GLEN’s new initiative will inform people on which employers are the most LGBT-friendly and will also encourage those who are failing to do more to be inclusive:
“Research in Ireland and internationally has found, unfortunately, far too many LGBT employees have experienced harassment at work or have quit a job because of discrimination and we know that many LGBT employees are not comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation at work. We know this can be detrimental to LGBT employees but also has a negative impact for employers.”
Having launched on February 10th, 2015, it’s still incredibly early days just yet, but we will keep you posted once we know more.