The UK’s anti-bullying law has been condemned as a “gag law” that will cause a major disruption to LGBT people and their families.
But it’s not just LGBT people who could suffer if this new law is enforced.
Many others could also lose their jobs and housing if the law is implemented, and the government could face legal action if it were to fail to comply.
What are the tests?
The new law allows the police to request information about people’s sexuality and sexual orientation from anyone, including those living in foster care.
Anyone with an opinion that could be used in the law could also be investigated, and a public statement that “an opinion on homosexuality is contrary to the best interests of children” could be interpreted as a warning to anyone who disagrees.
People living with a mental health condition can also be questioned about their sexual orientation.
A police officer could also demand information from someone who “has recently experienced or experienced sexual contact with another person of the same sex”, which could be an assault charge.
The law does not mention homosexuality or gender identity in its definition of “sexual orientation”.
The government says it’s a “legitimate and proportionate response” to those who are “being discriminated against in the workplace, housing, education and health services”.
It has said the law “is about protecting children from bullying”.
What do gay people think?
Some LGBT people are concerned about the new law, but others say it could actually be good for them.
“I think it is really good,” says Jamie Wilson.
“[The law] might allow people to be more assertive about expressing their sexuality, which could allow more people to come out and be themselves.”
But Jamie says he’s “not in favour of making people uncomfortable”.
“If they are being discriminated against, they should be able to come forward and speak about it,” he says.
Jamie says he doesn’t think the new legislation is likely to stop people from coming out, but he hopes that the law can help.
“The laws are just starting to come into place, but we should be talking about what can and can’t be done about it now,” he adds.
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