The Equality Act provisions amending the Religion or Belief Regulations and the new Sexual Orientation Regulations came into force at the end of April 2007.

The regulations will now prohibit discrimination in relation to the provision of goods and services, education and the running of public functions therefore coming into line with sex, race and disability discrimination.

Previously the regulations covered philosophical beliefs which were similar to a religion or religious belief. However, in the future the regulations will protect philosophical beliefs in general and there will no longer be a need for the belief to be similar to a religion. Some commentators have suggested that political beliefs may be protected.

The draft Sexual Orientation Regulations can be accessed below: