From 1 December 2003, when the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations came into force, it became unlawful to discriminate against workers on the grounds of sexual orientation. The regulations also cover providers of vocational training.
The Equality Act 2006 extends the regulations to cover the provision of goods, facilities and services. The sexual orientation provisions came into force on 30 April 2007.
The regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of:
- a person’s actual sexual orientation
- the sexual orientation he or she is thought to have and/or
- the sexual orientation of someone with whom he or she is associated.
What is homophobia?
Homophobia is a term for a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions of the term refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear.
How many people in the UK are lesbian, gay or bisexual?
The exact number is not known for certain as national and local surveys of the population and people did not ask about an individual’s sexual orientation until recently.
The Department of Trade and Industry has estimated that between 5 and 7 per cent of the population could be lesbian, gay or bisexual.
If this figure were applied to Derbyshire this would mean around 37,000 people
It will always be difficult to get accurate statistics on the number of lesbian, gay and bisexual people because of homophobia and the fact that many people do not “come out”, but keep their sexual orientation private – often because they fear being subjected to homophobia by their families, work colleagues or the community in which they live.
Forthcoming changes to the law
The Equality Bill is due to become law during 2010. This bill will expand the current duties on public bodies like the council to promote equality – by adding age, religion and belief, and sexual orientation to these duties.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:46