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If, as is common ground, tormenting a man who is believed to be gay but is not amounts to unlawful harassment, the distance from there to tormenting a man who is being treated as if he were gay when he is not is barely perceptible. …

If, as is common ground, tormenting a man who is believed to be gay but is not amounts to unlawful harassment, the distance from there to tormenting a man who is being treated as if he were gay when he is not is barely perceptible. …
39. [People] … may desire to keep their orientation to themselves but still be vulnerable to harassment by people who know or sense what their orientation is. It cannot possibly have been the intention, when legislation was introduced … that such a claimant must declare his or her true sexual orientation in order to establish that the abuse was “on grounds of sexual orientation”.

… The case would have been exactly the same if Mr English had elected, for whatever reason, to remain silent about his actual sexual orientation …. And the same would be the case if he were actually gay or bisexual but preferred not to disclose it.

Laws, LJ (dissenting):

28. This would amount not to a Pandora’s box, but a Pandora’s attic of unpredictable prohibitions.

See short case note: [2009] 68(2) CLJ 265-268; generally: ‘The Multiple Definitions of Harassment and Direct Discrimination: A “Pandora’s Attic”?’ 2 International

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