ELI5: With all the lawsuits going around where companies can't be sexist when hiring employees how is hooters able to only hire big breasted women

The issue is that many Catholic schools receive government education funding. If you take money from the government, you generally have to behave in a non-discriminatory way.

I'm from Ireland which is notoriously Catholic but even here the government is specifically removing the religious exemption from discrimination legislation as it believes the principle of non-discrimination is more important than the right of religious employers to discriminate against gay people.

Worth noting here that the vast MAJORITY of schools in Ireland are owned and run by the Catholic Church (90%) and there would not be a single Catholic school in Ireland that does not take government money. So they are in a precarious position as essentially having a monopoly on education here, and have to be sensitive about this, it's not like a gay teacher can just go work somewhere else.

And the Church have been practical about it, there are an absolute ton of gay teachers in Catholic schools in Ireland but to the best of my knowledge the Church has not at least in the last decade or more fired or even discriminated in a lesser way against anyone over their being gay as they knew to do so would only tarnish their public image- unlike the US the vast majority of Catholics in Ireland support gay rights.

As such were the Church to try exercising their "rights" to fire a gay teacher their doing so would only create a test case that would have only (1) alienated their own flock and (2) caused a general public backlash that more than likely would have pressed the government into early elimination of the religious exemption.

I believe the last case where the church was allowed discriminate in this way may have been as far back as the firing of an unmarried mother back in 1985. But it's 2014 and now the government is doing it anyway. Because discriminating against gay people, single mothers, infertile couples seeking IVF treatment and whatever else is not OK any more.

I can't find the actual proposed text of the bill but I imagine it narrows the religious exemption by distinguishing between "ministerial" and "non-ministerial" employees. The former (i.e. priests) can still be discriminated against (which I think is reasonable) but not the latter. That is how other jurisdictions handle it and I think it is a much better idea than a blanket exemption from discrimination legislation.


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