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Sexual Orientation

9. Sexual Orientation

Last Updated: August 2020

According to the Equality Act 2010, sexual orientation discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their sexual orientation. This can occur due to a one-off action, or can be caused by a rule or policy. Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful, however in some cases being treated differently due to sexual orientation is lawful – further information on these lawful exceptions can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

The Equality Act 2010 states that that you must not be discriminated against because: you are heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual; someone thinks you have a particular sexual orientation (this is known as discrimination by perception); you are connected to someone who has a particular sexual orientation (this is known as discrimination by association).

Sexual orientation is a person’s sexual attraction to other people, or lack thereof. Along with romantic orientation, this forms a person’s orientation identity which is an umbrella term covering sexual and romantic orientations. Whilst the Equality Act 2010 specifically mentions heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual, SVC recognises that there are many other sexual and romantic identities that people may identify as.

At SVC, we are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusion in our actions, projects, and practices.

  1. Our Equal Opportunities 2020 policy outlines that sexual orientation discrimination is unlawful. Please read the policy for more information;
  2. Anyone involved in SVC is encouraged to report any form of sexual orientation discrimination to SVC staff, SVC Board of Trustees, or the HR department at Innovate Trust. Please read our Problem Solving Procedure for more information;
  3. SVC commits to promoting volunteering opportunities widely in order to recruit a more representative demographic of volunteers;
  4. Please see SVC’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Commitments page for more commitments.


Equality Human Rights Website (2020) Sexual Orientation Discrimination. Available at:

SVC’s Policies and Procedures (2020) Equal Opportunities Policy. Available at:

SVC’s Policies and Procedures (2020) Problem Solving Procedure. Available at: