Marriage and Civil Partnership

  • In England and Wales marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes marriage between a same-sex couple.  Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as “civil partnerships”.  Civil partnerships should not be treated less favourably than married couples (expect where permitted by the Equality Act). 

    The Equality Act 2010 outlaws discrimination on the basis of marriage and civil partnership.  The law in this instance only covers employment and does not cover the provision of goods and services, so in relation to the University, only staff and not students are covered by the legislation.  The legislation does not cover single people, those who are divorced or widowed or those that have dissolved a civil partnership.

    All forms of prohibited conducted are unlawful in relation to marriage and civil partnership, including discrimination, harassment and victimisation.  The other aspects of the public sector equality duty (advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations) do not apply in this instance.