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Sexual Orientation

Sexual Orientation is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The Act aims to protect people from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the basis of sexual orientation.

Find support, initiatives, and guidance relating to sexual orientation here.


Definition of 'Sexual Orientation' in the Equality Act

In the Equality Act, sexual orientation refers to person's attraction towards:

  • People of the same sex.
  • People of the opposite sex.
  • People of either sex.

The definition provided above is that of the Equality Act, but since the creation of the Equality Act terminology on ED&I issues has changed and progressed. Warwick acknowledges that there are many ways that people identify. This is why we use the acronym 'LGBTQUA+', meaning lesbian, gay, bi+, trans, queer, undefined (for those who are questioning or who choose not to define their sexual orientation, in the latter case some individuals may also use the word queer), asexual/aromantic, and identities which are subject to similar forms of prejudice and discrimination.

You can find more definitions on the Warwick Students' Union LGBTQUA+ Terminology webpage.

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels. Colour filter added to original.

You may also be interested in:

ED&I Newsletter

Support, initiatives, and guidance relating to sexual orientation

Staff Networks - including LGBTQUA+ Networks

Policies - including the Trans and Gender Reassignment Policy

LGBTQUA+ Initiatives - including Trans Web Portal, LGBTQUA+ Supporters, LGBTQUA+ Events Group, and pronoun badges

Taskforces and SIC - including the Rainbow Taskforce

Charters - including Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index (LGBTQUA+ equality benchmarking exercise)

Events - including LGBTQUA+ History Month and details of the Stonewall 50 celebrations in 2019

External links

You can find more information about sexual orientation and the law from the following sources:

Advance HE - Equality Legislation

EHRC - Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Acas - Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Citizens Advice - Sexual Orientation Discrimination