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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 economic status, sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, mental illness or ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression/dysphoria, sex characteristics, religious, creed, or individual political opinions.



Examples of anti-discrimination law include,


Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990Edit

Employment rates for disabled men in all age categories, and disabled women under the age of 40, fell sharply after the ADA.[1] Dr. John Bound, professor of economics at the University of Michigan, opined that part of the decrease may be attributed to expansion of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) during the 1970s.[2]

Prior to 1960Edit

David Neumark and Wendy Stock find some evidence that sex discrimination/equal pay laws boosted the relative earnings of black and white females and reduced the relative employment of both black women and white women.[3]


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.[4][5]

Religious organizationsEdit

Some religious organizations 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.[6]

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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Consequences of the Americans With Disabilities Act". NBER Digest. 
  2. ^ Sharing the Dream: Is the ADA Accommodating All? Chapter 2 The Effects of the ADA
  3. ^ Neumark, David; Stock, Wendy A. (2006). "The Labor Market Effects of Sex and Race Discrimination Laws". Economic Inquiry. 44 (3): 385–419. doi:10.1093/ei/cbj034. 
  4. ^ More Submarine FAQs Archived April 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., See question number 15: Why are women not permitted to serve on submarines? Royal Navy website. Retrieved 30-03-2008
  5. ^ MOD factsheet: Women in the armed forces. Retrieved 30-03-2008
  6. ^ BBC: Women bishops vote: Church of England 'resembles sect', 22 November 2012

External linksEdit