Sexual Orientation

Definition

Sexual orientation refers to someone’s attraction to a person of the same sex, opposite sex, or both sexes.

People who are attracted only to persons of the opposite sex are known as heterosexual or straight. People who don’t identify as heterosexual or straight might describe themselves as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or use the umbrella term LGB. An LGB person can be single, in a relationship with another person of the same sex, or of the opposite sex, such as bisexual.

Some LGB people are ‘out’, which means that they openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, but many other LGB people keep their sexual orientation private, often because they are concerned about discrimination or prejudice.

Legislation

Great Britain

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against or harass a person because of their sexual orientation.

Northern Ireland

Under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (NI) 2006 it is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against or harass a person because of their sexual orientation.

Useful websites

Useful Organisations