Fiona O’Loughlin and Malcolm Byrne launched the private members’ bill last week. It would prevent a school’s ethos from having any influence on the RSE or SPHE curriculum, even when a school is faith-based.
The bill would also require the Education Minister to publish a report on “the need to include the voice of LGBTQU+ students” in RSE lessons.
“LGBTQU+” is defined in the bill as including “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, unsure, two-spirit, intersex and asexual”. The term “two-spirit” allegedly originated with some Native Americans as a way to describe gender or sexual identity among their community.
Carol Nolan, an independent TD for Laois-Offaly, said she believed the use of the term by non-indigenous people was a form of cultural appropriation.
“The bill… is an absurd waste of parliamentary time,” said Ms Nolan.
“It reeks of opportunism and a desperation… to attach themselves to the latest woke nonsense,” she said. “I also understand that Native Americans consider use of the term ‘two-spirit’ by those who are not members of the community to be a form of cultural appropriation. If so, this is a case of the two Fianna Fáil senators being hoist by their own woke petard.”