Clause 12

Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 16 June 2009.

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Sexual orientation

Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Shadow Science Minister

I beg to move amendment 217, in clause 12, page 8, line 16, at end add—

‘(3) Sexual orientation includes manifestations of that sexual orientation.’.

This is to put clearly into statute existing case law stemming from eg Amicus vs Secretary of State where it was held that a religious organisation could not avoid sexual orientation discrimination by referring to lifestyle matters which were a lawful and direct expression of sexual orientation.’.

Photo of Joe Benton Joe Benton Labour, Bootle

With this it will be convenient to discuss amendment 220, in clause 13, page 9, line 27, at end insert—

‘(7A) If the protected characteristic is sexual orientation, A discriminates against B if A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others on the basis of a manifestation of B’s sexual orientation.’.

This is to make explicit in statute the case law (eg from Amicus vs Secretary of State) which holds that discrimination against gay people on account of their gay life style or camp appearance (for example) is direct discrimination.

Photo of Evan Harris Evan Harris Shadow Science Minister

Before I am interrupted by the bell, I should say that the debate that we need to have on this matter will be much shorter than we would otherwise have had—

The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put (Standing Order No. 88).

Adjourned till this day at Four o’clock.