Schools in Ireland can be hostile places for gay people, particularly the staff rooms, Reuters reports. Gay, lesbian or bisexual teachers in many Irish schools–which are still dominated by the Catholic Church–risk discrimination or even the sack if they reveal their sexuality, thanks to a law that permits religious employers to penalize employees for actions undermining their religious standards.

“When you are in the school system, you are caught up in the ethos of the school, you are caught up in the silence,” said Leo Kilroy, 34, who used to teach in a Catholic-run primary school in Dublin’s inner city. “You are aware that if you come out as a gay or a lesbian you may experience discrimination. Your very existence in that post is up for challenge.”

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staff and wire services reports