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Equality and anti-discrimination legislation

Law Type of Provision Remarks
Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 Made it an offence deliberately to incite
racial hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion
Does not cover the use or publication of
abusive and insulting words – unlike the law relating to incitement to racial hatred
Equality Act 2006 Introduced a gender equality duty on public
authorities, and also outlawed discrimination in goods and services on
the basis of religion or belief
Employment Equality Regulations 2003 Direct discrimination – treating people less favourably on grounds of sexual orientation or religion or belief.
Indirect discrimination – applying a provision, criterion or practise which disadvantages people of a particular sexual orientation or religion or belief and which is not justified as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

Harassment – unwanted conduct that violates people’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Victimisation – treating people less favourably because of something they have done under or in connection with the Regulations, e.g. made a formal complaint of discrimination or given evidence in a tribunal case.
In force from 2nd December 2003 – Click
here for details
Chancellor of Exchequer’s budget, April 2003 – facilitating Islamic home purchase The Chancellor Gordon Brown stated, “We are also reforming the tax treatment of home purchases funded by alternative mortgage products – including Islamic mortgages where in the past home buyers have been charged stamp duty twice”. For full text of 2003 Budget Click here
Census Amendment Act (1920), 2000 A question on religion was proposed in the
White Paper in March 1999 subject to a change to the Census Act, which did not then provide the lawful authority for such a question to be included in a census in Great Britain. A Bill providing for such particular to be included in a Census gained Royal Assent on 28 July 2000. Similar legislation in Scotland received Royal Assent on 10 April 2000. The Religion question in the 2001 Census provided the first reliable demographic and socio-economic data on Muslims in Britain.
Crime & Disorder Act 1998 Racially Aggravated Offences— harassment,
violence and/or criminal damage to property motivated by racial hatred or where there is any aggravating evidence of racial hostility in connection with the offence.
Although Jews and Sikhs enjoy protection
from this offence, the protection is not extended to multi-ethnic religious communities. Thus, Christians, Muslims and most other faith
communities in Britain remain unprotected from this offence..
Public Order Act 1986 Incitement of Racial Hatred—to behave in such manner or to use or publish insulting or abusive words with the intent to stir up racial hatred or, in the circumstances, racial hatred is likely to be stirred up as a result of the action.

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