The Government has today published the Sexual Orientation Regulations for Great Britain.

Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly published the new regulations, which outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services.

The regulations come into force on the 30th April.

“I am proud to bring forward practical new protections for lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people,” said Kelly. “The overwhelming majority of people in our country want a society where every citizen is treated fairly and with respect.

“The goal of the new regulations is to make such discrimination illegal. We want to ensure that when people visit their hospital, study at school or college, or even do something as everyday as shopping or booking a holiday, they get treated fairly and with respect, no matter what their sexual orientation.”

Gay campaign group Stonewall said that they welcomed the publication of the sexual orientation regulations.

“We’ll be working closely with MP’s and members of the House of Lords in coming weeks, ahead of votes in parliament to approve the new laws,” said Alan Wardle, Stonewall’s Director of Parliamentary and Public Affairs. “It’s essential that these regulations come into force in April to provide much-needed and long overdue protection from discrimination for gay people.”

A copy of the regulations can be found on the OPSI website.

www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/draft/20075920.htm