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Equality Act 2010

Section 7: Gender reassignment
Effect

41.This section defines the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act as where a person has proposed, started or completed a process to change his or her sex. A transsexual person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

42.The section also explains that a reference to people who have or share the common characteristic of gender reassignment is a reference to all transsexual people. A woman making the transition to being a man and a man making the transition to being a woman both share the characteristic of gender reassignment, as does a person who has only just started out on the process of changing his or her sex and a person who has completed the process.

Background

43.This section replaces similar provisions in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 but changes the definition by no longer requiring a person to be under medical supervision to come within it.

Examples
  • A person who was born physically male decides to spend the rest of his life living as a woman. He declares his intention to his manager at work, who makes appropriate arrangements, and she then starts life at work and home as a woman. After discussion with her doctor and a Gender Identity Clinic, she starts hormone treatment and after several years she goes through gender reassignment surgery. She would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act.

  • A person who was born physically female decides to spend the rest of her life as a man. He starts and continues to live as a man. He decides not to seek medical advice as he successfully ‘passes’ as a man without the need for any medical intervention. He would have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment for the purposes of the Act.

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