The word "sex" in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 should, as the law stood days before the Human Rights Act 1998 came fully into force, have been interpreted to include sexual orientation, in the opinion of the EAT in MacDonald v Ministry of Defence.
In MacDonald v Ministry of Defence EOR94A, the EAT interprets the Sex Discrimination Act so as to include discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
In Pearce v Governing Body of Mayfield School (7 April 2000) EOR93B, the EAT rules that a woman teacher who was subjected to gender-specific homophobic verbal abuse was not unlawfully discriminated against on grounds of sex.
In Pearce v Governing Body of Mayfield Secondary School, the EAT upholds an employment tribunal's decision that the only discrimination against a lesbian schoolteacher, who had suffered from regular homophobic abuse by pupils at her school, was on grounds of sexual orientation and not on grounds of sex.
In Swann v Thameslink Ltd a Brighton employment tribunal (Chair: A A Hogarth) has ruled that a man dismissed because he was a homosexual was dismissed in breach of the equal opportunities clause contained in his contract of employment and is entitled to damages.
In Smith and Grady v United Kingdom (27 September 1999) EOR88A, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that a ban on homosexuals in the armed forces contravenes the right to respect for private life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
In Smith v Gardner Merchant Ltd (14 July 1998) EOR81C, the Court of Appeal holds that a victim of sexual harassment must show that the conduct is gender-based in order to succeed in a claim of sex discrimination.
In R v Secretary of State for Defence ex parte Perkins (No.2) (13 July 1998) EOR81D, the High Court has withdrawn the reference to the European Court of Justice in respect of whether it is contrary to the EC Equal Treatment Directive to discriminate based on a person's sexual orientation.
A lesbian was the appropriate comparator of a gay man who complained that he had been discriminated against on the ground of his sex by being subjected to homophobic abuse, holds the Court of Appeal in Smith v Gardner Merchant Ltd.
The ruling by the European Court of Justice in Grant v South-West Trains Ltd that Community law as it stands at present does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation was decisive of the question whether or not discrimination "on grounds of sex" within the meaning of the EC Equal Treatment Directive includes discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation, holds the High Court in R v Secretary of State for Defence ex parte Perkins (No.2).
HR and legal information and guidance relating to sexual orientation discrimination.