What are their rights?
In some countries same-sex activity constitutes a criminal offence attracting severe penalties, in other countries, same-sex activity is legal and LGBT people have most of the same legal rights as non-LGBT people.
LGBT people in the UK are some of the best protected in the world. Same sex marriage is now legal (same for Northern Ireland), as is same-sex adoption, and the Equality Act 2010 offers significant protection to the LGBT community against discrimination in the workplace.
Under the Equality Act 2010, “sexual orientation” and “gender reassignment” are recognised as “protected characteristics”, meaning that it is unlawful to treat a person less favourably because of their sexual orientation or because they have undergone, are undergoing, or intend to undergo gender reassignment. It is also unlawful to indirectly apply a provision, criterion or practice that disadvantages a person of a particular sexual orientation or because of their gender reassignment. This is unless the discriminatory act can be shown to be “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim” known as “objective justification” but such a defence will only be successful in very limited circumstances. The Equality Act 2010 also prohibits harassment or victimisation of a person on the basis of these protected characteristics.