2010: The Equality Act – a broad base for fairer treatment for all
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2010: The Equality Act – a broad base for fairer treatment for all

When it came into force in October 2010, the Equality Act brought true equality closer at a stroke for millions of people.

By bringing together and building on all existing equalities laws, the Act offers legal guarantees of equal treatment to people covered by nine protected characteristics, including sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership. 

It provides protection from discrimination across many aspects of life, from applying for work and using services, to education and buying or renting property.  

And it places a duty on all public bodies to proactively eliminate discrimination against, and advance equality of opportunity for, LGBT people. 

Because of its potential to underpin the rights of so many people in so many areas of life, the Act was supported by numerous equalities charities. But that same broad sweep also made a lot of people oppose it, to the extent that the Bill very nearly didn’t become law. 

Once the law was passed, Stonewall secured an amendment to remove the ban on religious groups from holding civil partnerships on their premises. 

The Act now stands as the foundation of the rights that many LGBT people in Britain enjoy today.

We have made incredible progress toward LGBT equality over the last 30 years, but the fight is far from over.