Equality Act 2010

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The Equality Act 2010 replaced various previous Acts of Parliament (including the Equality Act 2006) and outlaws discrimination on any of the following "protected characteristics":

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief [1]
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

Amongst other things, the Act removes the statutory ban on conducting civil partnerships on religious premises (Section 202). This provision came into force in England and Wales on 5 December 2011, following a Government consultation. Implementing this provision in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved authorities. A case in 2021 established that Gender critical beliefs, such as the view that sex is fixed and should not be conflated with gender identity, are protected in law under the Equality Act 2010.


  1. Including gender critical belief