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Marriage and civil partnerships

Protection afforded in the Equality Act 2010 to marriage and civil partnership only protects people who are married or in a civil partnership from discrimination. It does not protect people who are single, divorced, widowed or have dissolved their civil partnerships.

Protection is only afforded in employment and not in education or the provision of goods and services.

In Northern Ireland, the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 prohibits discrimination of married people in employment. In addition, Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places Northern Irish public authorities, including higher education institutions, under a duty to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between people of different marital status. Therefore both staff and students are protected.