Fianna Fáil did not call a vote on Solidarity's Objective Sex Education Bill
A new bill which would remove all religious influence from sex education classes has passed through its latest stage in the Dáil.
Fianna Fáil had threatened to oppose the Solidarity bill, which looks to guarantee 'factual and objective' information on relationships and sexuality for students regardless of a school’s religious ethos.
The legislation would ensure all schoolchildren get age appropriate sex education, including information about contraception, consent and LGBTQ issues.
The Government had this week indicated it would not oppose the bill.
Fianna Fáil's education spokesperson Thomas Byrne yesterday said his party supported many of the suggestions in the proposed legislation - but they did not want the curriculum put into law, claiming it would be a "bad precedent to set".
Ultimately the party did not call a vote on the bill, ensuring it passed its latest hurdle in the chamber.
Fianna Fail decide not to press vote due to pressure they were under on opposition to factual objective sex ed, many of their TDs left the chamber as vote called. The #SexEdBill now goes to Education Committee. Let's keep up pressure to get it through. #dubw— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) April 19, 2018
The Deputy Ceann Comhairle Pat the Cope Gallagher explained that the bill will now be debated by the Education Committee.
He told deputies: "As this is a private members bill, it must [...] be referred to the select committee."
Solidarity TDs had yesterday called on supporters of the bill to contact their TDs in an effort to persuade them to back the bill in a vote.
The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) and the National Women's Council (NWCI) were among the groups who welcomed the news that the proposed legislation will now move to committee stage.
Deputy Ruth Coppinger, meanwhile, called on anyone with submissions related to relationships and sexuality education (RSE) to submit them by lunchtime tomorrow:
Very short turn around time for submissions to the Education Committee on the issue of RSE. Submissions from individuals and organisations be 12 noon tomorrow (Fri 20th). Here is link to more details. Spread word, get submissions in https://t.co/d97E322PEC#dubw #sexedbill— Ruth Coppinger TD (@RuthCoppingerTD) April 19, 2018