Conscience clause is a license to discriminate

22 Mar 2015

Sunday, 22nd March 2015: The “conscience clause” mooted by the Church Hierarchy, including the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, has been called a ‘licence to discriminate’ by campaigning group Yes Equality. A similar clause designed to enshrine discrimination into Irish law under the cloak of conscience clause was previously suggested by some when civil partnership legislation was discussed in the Dáil in 2010. The issue was discussed at length in the Dáil and Seanad and entirely dismissed.

Mark Kelly, Yes Equality spokesperson said, “The human right to religious freedom is hugely important, but it does not include a licence to use religion to discriminate against others by denying them goods or services. Everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs, but modern anti-discrimination laws make clear that they are not entitled to impose them on others.”

Tiernan Brady, Yes Equality spokesperson said, “We have strong discrimination laws in place to protect everyone in Ireland. Irish people intuitively understand how discrimination feels. Our laws are moving in a positive direction, towards the eradication of discrimination for all people in Ireland whether you’re young or old, married or unmarried, religious or unreligious, gay or straight.”


Media Contact: Andrew Hyland, 087 9088 322 /
Mark Kelly available for immediate interview.