Here is the full suite of documents relating to these:
The draft regulations
The Government's response to the "Getting Equal" Consultation
The Government's Regulatory Impact Assessment
The Government's Equality Impact Assessment.
In addition, and for ease of reference see also:
The Northern Ireland Regulations, the OFMDFM response (including analysis of responses) to the NI Consultation
Here you can get access to the individual responses to the NI consultation and here, the response from the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.
The report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, relating ot the human rights dimension of the regulations.
What differences are there between the NI and GB regulations?
The NI regs include harassment and there are no references to the clauses on blood donation and insurance (see below). The NI regs aren't explicit about treating civil partners the same as married couples.
Hrassment will still be covered by the GB regs but by an indirect route due to being subjected to detriment and therefore constituting direct discrimination.
What exemptions are there in the regulations for religious organisations?
Religious organisations are exempted provided (a) if it is necessary to comply with the doctrine of the organisation; or(b) so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion's followers.
This does not apply where the activity concerned is commercial, in relation to the provision of education or where a service is provided on behalf of a public authority.
There is a time limited exemption for adoption and fostering agencies until December 2008 (as previously announced).
This is a wider exemption than that proposed in Getting Equal which restricted the proposed exemption to purely doctrinal matters.
What other exemptions are there?
There are exemptions under both regulations to allow specific service provision that targets LGB groups; allows for associations that may cater for a specific sexual orientation; exemptions that apply with regard to accomodation where the person or a near relative lives on the property and it is limited in size; there is an exemption for charities where they act in accordance with their charitable instrument.
The GB regulations provide for an exemption for the insurance sector, provided that it is based on actuarial evidence (whilst the Government has indicated it expects this exemption to be phased out in 2008) and a provision that outlaws discrimination in the treatment of blood donors except that they may refuse a person's blood when based on a risk assessment based on clinical and epidemiological data.