Sexual orientation Discrimination Act

If someone is treated unjust or have their dignity violated in regards to his or her sexuality, it may be against the law. The Discrimination Act is set to protect the rights of LGBT-people in Sweden, amongst other groups.

To fall under the legal definition of discrimination, the incident has to be connected to one of the seven grounds of discrimination acknowledged by law.

Discrimination and how it is legally defined

If a person’s dignity is violated, or if he or she is treated unfairly, it may be a case of discrimination, given that the actions have a connection to one or more of the seven grounds of discrimination.

The seven grounds of discrimination are as follows:

  • Sex.
  • Ethnicity.
  • Disability.
  • Religion or other beliefs.
  • Sexual Orientation.
  • Age.
  • Transgender identity or expressions.

There are also six different forms of discrimination which are prohibited by the law:

  • Direct discrimination.
  • Indirect discrimination.
  • Harassment.
  • Instructing someone else to discriminate.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Inadequate accessibility.

The Discrimination Act is set to protect individuals

The main focus of the law is to protect persons and not organizations or companies. In practice, this means that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee and that a university cannot discriminate against students, for instance.  So which situations could possibly constitute discrimination? Here are some examples:

  • A manager does not hire a gay person because of his or her sexual orientation.
  • An employer offers a lower wage to an employee in connection one of the seven grounds of discrimination.
  • A dentist does not allow a man to book an appointment because he is wearing a skirt.
  • A waiter at a restaurant refuses to read the menu out loud to a blind person.
  • A teacher ridicules a student for his or her beliefs.
  • An official at a public service ridicules a person for being gay.