Legal

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Marriage (Same Sex Couples) – England, Wales And Scotland

When was marriage for same sex couples introduced? The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 introduced same sex marriage in England and Wales. It came into force on 13th March 2014. The first marriages took place on 29th March 2014. Section 9 granted any couple registered in a civil partnership…
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Offence Of Hate Crime – Transgender: England, Wales, Northern Ireland

When was protection from trans hate crime introduced? Protection from hate crime for LGBT+ people has followed protections on other grounds. LGBT+ people experience high levels of hate crime. It has taken years and much campaigning for the law to do something about this. Protection for LGBT+ people has not…
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Equality Act – England, Wales And Scotland

Where does the Equality Act apply? The Equality Act 2010 applies to England, Wales and Scotland. It came into force on 1st October 2010. Most of the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland uses Section 75 of The Northern Ireland Act. Why was the Equality Act introduced? The…
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Offence Of Hate Crime – Transgender: Scotland

When was protection from trans hate crime introduced? Protection from hate crime for LGBT+ people has followed protections on other grounds. LGBT+ people experience high levels of hate crime. It has taken years and much campaigning for the law to do something about this. Protection for LGBT+ people has not…
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Civil Partnerships

Civil Partnership Act  The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005 across the UK. The Scottish Parliament voted in favour of allowing Westminster to legislate for Scotland in this Act. Civil partnerships were introduced for same sex couples only, across the UK. At the time there…
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Offence Of Hate Crime – Sexual Orientation Across UK

When was protection from sexual orientation hate crime introduced? Protection from hate crime for LGBT+ people has followed protections on other grounds. LGBT+ people experience high levels of hate crime. It has taken years and much campaigning for the law to do something about this. Protection for LGBT+ people has…
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Gender Recognition

What does the Act recognise? The UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 allows people over eighteen to get legal recognition for the gender in which they live. At the time, the Gender Recognition Act was a very progressive law. The UK was a leader in trans equality. The Act says that…
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Repeal Section 28 And 2A – England And Wales

When was Section 28 repealed? In the early 2000s the Labour government in Westminster attempted to remove Section 28 as a law in England and Wales. The House of Lords rejected the first attempts. But the Local Government Act 2003 was successful. It came into force on 18 November 2003.…
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Employment Protection – Sexual Orientation

Why did the UK government introduce employment protection regulations? The government responded to a European Union (EU) Law. A lot of EU law is written as ‘directives’. A directive is an instruction to member states to change things by a certain date. Member states often make their own new laws…
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Equal Age Of Consent

What does the age of consent mean? The age of consent is the age at which a person can consent to sexual intercourse. In the past the age of consent was more about when you could consent to marry. Sex was only allowed in marriage. In England and Wales this…
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Duty To Promote Equality – Northern Ireland

Equality Duty Northern Ireland When was the duty  to promote sexual orientation equality introduced? It was in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Act is more commonly known as the Good Friday Agreement. It came into force on 1 January 2000. Northern Ireland was the first place…
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Repeal Section 28 And 2A – Scotland

When was Section 2A repealed? Section 2A was repealed by Section 26 of the Ethical Standards in Public Life Act 2000. It was one of the first laws made by the new Scottish Parliament. It was three years before Section 28 was repealed in England and Wales. Who campaigned to…
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Transgender Employment Rights

When were the regulations to protect transgender people introduced? The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations were introduced in 1999. These were a change to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. They applied across the UK. Why were the regulations introduced? Before 1999, it was lawful to sack a person simply because they…
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Section 28 And 2A – England, Wales And Scotland

What were Section 28 and Section 2A? This is difficult to explain! They were sections of different Local Government Acts. Section 28 was part of the 1988 Local Government Act. It explained how local authorities must not ‘promote homosexuality’. However, Section 28 said this requirement should be added to Section…
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Decriminalisation Of Homosexual Acts – Northern Ireland

Decriminalisation of homosexual acts Northern Ireland When were homosexual acts decriminalised in Northern Ireland? The Homosexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 1982, No. 1536 (N.I. 19), decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men with consent, aged 21 or over. It came into force on 8 December 1982. It brought the…
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Decriminalisation Of Homosexual Acts – Scotland

Decriminalisation of homosexual acts in Scotland When were homosexual acts decriminalised in Scotland? The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 (Section 80) decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men with consent, over the age of 21. It came into force on 1 February 1981. It brought Scottish law into line…
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Decriminalisation Of Homosexual Acts – England And Wales

When were homosexual acts decriminalised in England and Wales? The Sexual Offences Act 1967 is often described as a partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality. The act introduced just one narrow exemption from prosecution. Apart from this one exemption, sexual acts between men continued to be a punishable offence. The Act…
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Death Penalty For Buggery/Sodomy Abolished – Scotland

Death penalty for Sodomy abolished in Scotland 1887 When was the death penalty for sodomy introduced? We do not know when the death penalty for sodomy was introduced. We do know the first recorded prosecution for sodomy leading to execution was in 1570. John Litster and John Swan were strangled…
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Offence Of ‘Gross Indecency’ Created

Offence of gross indecency When was the crime of gross indecency introduced? The crime of gross indecency was included in the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885. The focus of the law was the protection of women and young girls from prostitution. The crime of gross indecency was added as an…
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Death Penalty For Buggery Abolished – England And Wales

Death penalty for buggery abolished in England, Wales and Ireland When was the death penalty for buggery introduced? The Buggery Act was passed in 1533. It was introduced in England by Henry VIII. Before that time Church courts punished the ‘sin’ of buggery. The punishment was death by hanging. A…
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