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Anti-discrimination law refers to the law on the right of people to be treated equally. Some countries mandate that in employment, in consumer transactions and in political participation people must be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and sometimes religious and political opinions.
Examples of anti-discrimination law include,
- Civil Rights Act of 1964 (United States)
- Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972 (United States)
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (United States)
- Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Australia)
- Canadian Human Rights Act (1977, Canada)
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (New South Wales, Australia)
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (United States)
- Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Australia)
- Equal Treatment Directive (European Union)
Where anti-discrimination legislation is in force, exceptions are sometimes included in the laws, particularly affecting the military and religions.
In many nations with anti-discrimination legislation, women are excluded from holding certain positions in the military, such as serving in a frontline combat capacity or aboard submarines. The reason given varies; for example, the British Royal Navy cite the reason for not allowing women to serve aboard submarines as medical and related to the safety of an unborn fetus, rather than that of combat effectiveness.
Some religious organisations are exempted from legislation. For example, in Britain the Church of England, in common with other religious institutions, has historically not allowed women to hold senior positions (bishoprics) despite sex discrimination in employment generally being illegal; the prohibition was confirmed by a vote by the Church synod in 2012.
Selection of teachers and pupils in schools for general education but with a religious affiliation is often permitted by law to be restricted to those of the same religious affiliation even where religious discrimination is forbidden.
- List of anti-discrimination acts
- Labour law
- Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (ILO Convention No. 111)
- Anti-discrimination laws in Brazil
- Employment equity (Canada)
- Employment discrimination law in the United States
- Employment discrimination law in the United Kingdom
- History of women in the military
- LGBT rights by country or territory
- More Submarine FAQs, See question number 15: Why are women not permitted to serve on submarines? Royal Navy website. Retrieved 30-03-2008
- MOD factsheet: Women in the armed forces. Retrieved 30-03-2008
- BBC: Women bishops vote: Church of England 'resembles sect', 22 November 2012