Marriage and civil partnership discrimination

The law relating to marriage and civil partnership discrimination is governed by the Equality Act 2010, which came into force on 1 October 2010.

While the Equality Act 2010 largely consolidated previous discrimination legislation, it also defined marriage and civil partnership as a protected characteristic in its own right and removed the requirement for a comparator to establish victimisation.

According to statutory guidance, this protected characteristic covers “will cover any formal union of a man and a woman which is legally recognised in the UK as a marriage”. Marriage to same-sex partners would also be covered. A civil partnership is one that is registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, including those registered outside the UK.


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