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Woman given payout after shop worker told her ‘you are only a lesbian’

Lydia Smith December 16, 2018
A stock photo of a shop.

The woman says she was discriminated against in a shop (Pexels)

A woman who was told she was “only a lesbian” by a shop worker has been awarded €2,000 (£1,800) after a hearing before the Workplace Relations Commission in Ireland.

She said she had visited a shop where a family member worked, but another worker began to be aggressive towards her, the Journal reported.

The woman, who has not been named, said she was asked: “Have you nothing better to be doing?”

She was reportedly also asked if she would come outside to fight, before being told “you are only a lesbian”.

A submission on behalf of the shop said that a manager had spoken to the worker and said she did not remember using discriminatory words.

Witnesses said the incident took place, however.

Earlier this year, comedian Graham Norton said that if he had come out as gay while he was living in Ireland, he could have died.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Graham Norton on stage with the Special Recognition Award during the National Television Awards at The O2 Arena on January 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Graham Norton spoke about homophobia in Ireland earlier this year (John Phillips/Getty)

The chat show host moved to London from his home in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland, after university to train as an actor at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and said it was just as well he did.

“Narrow-minded doesn’t cover it. It was un-minded,” he recalled, according to the Press Association.

“It didn’t exist! Ireland’s a great one for ignoring problems. There were no gay people, so you couldn’t be homophobic.

“It’s like there was no racism because there was no other race. We had to hate Catholics and Protestants because there was no one else to hate!”

He added: “If I had come out, it would have been more than difficult. I may have been dead in a ditch.”

“In my parents’ generation, if you saw a gay person in a drama, the chances are they weren’t that happy.

“They were either the murder victim, a serial killer, or they’d kill themselves.”

More: Discrimination, Europe, Ireland, Ireland, lesbian, LGBT, workplace

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