The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (the Act) extends marriage to same sex couples in England and Wales. This guide explains how the Act affects teaching about marriage in schools and the implications of equality and human rights law in an education context. This document is useful for schools, local education authorities, governors, parents, teachers, and non-teaching staff employed by schools.
Rights under equality law protect against unlawful discrimination and harassment based on various protected characteristics, including marriage and civil partnership, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. Human rights law also provides protection against discrimination in the enjoyment of certain rights, and protects the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. Our accompanying guidance on marriage and the law covers these rights in greater detail.