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Lord Whitty: Earlier I referred to the discussions involving my right honourable friend the Secretary of State. Clearly, on Report I shall indicate how far those discussions have progressed. I hope that they will have progressed as far as the noble Lord seeks. It is certainly important that at the next stage the House knows which way we shall go and what degree of consensus

7 Feb 2000 : Column 482

we have achieved. I can give that undertaking, which may not be quite as absolute as the noble Lord would like, but the Government's good intentions are clear.

It is wrong to think that those whom the noble Baroness referred to as dealing with the moral issues are all on one side in this argument. In no sense are they. We have already seen that even among religious leaders there are significant differences of opinion. We have seen that in this Committee and in pronouncements by Members of the Bishops' Bench. We have heard also from the noble Baroness, Lady Richardson, who has a very strong and powerful background in these matters. We should respect that. The noble Baroness may quote the Chief Rabbi, but it is also true that the leader of progressive Judaism has today made it clear that that organisation opposes the retention of Section 28.

Let us not pretend that all the world's religions are on one side in this argument, and not only religious leaders deal with moral issues. On our side of the argument are representatives of doctors, teachers, nurses and social workers, all of whom day-to-day have to deal with moral issues, the personal problems of young people and indeed adults.

It is important that we do not allow this debate to be highjacked entirely on the issue of schools and young people. Counselling services for the adult gay community are also involved. I would advise noble Lords to read Section 28 again. It applies also to local authority services to adults.

That brings us to the area referred to by the noble Earl, Lord Russell, and the noble Lord, Lord Lester, because human rights issues are involved. If an activity is not against the law, it is wrong that the state should discriminate against those who engage in it either in terms of their civil rights or in terms of the services we offer them.

Like many of us, even on this side of the argument, I have probably spent a fair amount of my life being an unconscious homophobe. Homophobia is a little like racism. As various black friends of mine would say, it is not the unthinking racist one has to worry about, but the thinking racist. Nevertheless, unconscious homophobia exists in many of us and lies behind a lot of the apparent good intentions in Section 28.

It is very important that we tackle the matter as early as we can. That includes not allowing unconscious homophobia or indeed explicit homophobia to develop within our schools through bullying and other attitudes. We must remember that if we do not address this issue in schools it is a very short step from 14 and 15 year-olds who receive the sex education to which we refer and the gay-bashers who are on the streets of our capital and elsewhere.

The noble Baroness, Lady Young, said that she liked my noble friend Lord Alli but that she dismissed his ideas. We all have to address this issue of hate against the homosexual community. Let us hope that we can address it by sweeping Section 28 aside, engaging in a more constructive dialogue with all concerned, and removing the fear in the homosexual

7 Feb 2000 : Column 483

community, but allowing teachers, social workers and others to address the real personal and social matters presented by the issue of sexuality.

I regret that in Committee we are getting into a debate that is as emotive and as difficult as this. I hope that even at this late hour the noble Baroness will not press her amendment. We shall return to this matter at a later stage with the benefit of the discussions that my right honourable friend intends to have with the Churches and others. I hope, therefore, that if she wants to press a vote tonight she will recognise that she does so in a way that will not create the best atmosphere for those discussions. Therefore, I plead with her not to press the amendment.

The Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lord Skelmersdale): I have to inform the Committee that before we return to Amendment No. 365 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and other noble Lords, we should dispose of Amendment No. 365ZA in the name of the Lord Bishop of Rochester.

The Lord Bishop of Rochester: I am in somewhat of a quandary. If I withdraw this amendment and the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, is passed, from my point of view the provision will have become impoverished. I am minded to give weight to the Government's promise to talk to the Churches and to people of other faiths. Perhaps, at this stage, I should withdraw my amendment, but reserve my position until the Report stage.

I am sorry to do this but, in the absence of any other provision, I must support the retention of Section 28. I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment No. 365ZA, as an amendment to Amendment No. 365, by leave withdrawn.

Baroness Young: At this late hour I do not intend to make a further speech. We have had a full debate. I thank all those who supported me so vigorously and so forcefully. I draw the Committee's attention to the valuable speech of the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Hapgood, which summed up the situation extremely well. I shall not answer the other points that have arisen. I test the opinion of the Committee.

8.50 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 365) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 210; Not-Contents, 165.

Division No. 1


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Aldington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Armstrong of Ilminster, L.
Arran, E.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Barber, L.
Bell, L.
Bellwin, L.
Belstead, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Blease, L.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bramall, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Brigstocke, B.
Brookeborough, V.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butterfield, L.
Butterworth, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Cavendish of Furness, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chalfont, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Cockfield, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Cox, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donaldson of Lymington, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Fellowes, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fitt, L.
Flowers, L.
Fookes, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Freeman, L.
Geddes, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Greenway, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Habgood, L.
Hambro, L.
Hanham, B
Hanningfield, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hussey of North Bradley, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inglewood, L.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jauncey of Tullichettle, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Wartnaby, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lane, L.
Lichfield, Bp.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Longford, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Moran, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northbourne, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oliver of Aylmerton, L.
Onslow, E.
Orme, L.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pike, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Porter of Luddenham, L.
Prentice, L.
Prior, L.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rochester, Bp.
Rotherwick, L.
Saatchi, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Selkirk of Douglas, L.
Selsdon, L.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stallard, L.
Sterling of Plaistow, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tombs, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Waverley, V.
Weatherill, L.
Wharton, B.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Winchester, Bp.
Windlesham, L.
Wright of Richmond, L.
Young, B. [Teller]
Young of Graffham, L.


Addington, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Baldwin of Bewdley, E.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blackstone, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Burns, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Freyberg, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Guildford, Bp.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Haskins, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Levy, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Ludford, B.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Marsh, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Molloy, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Nicol, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Patel, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Prashar, B.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L
Richardson of Calow, B.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sandwich, E.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stern, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thornton, B.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

7 Feb 2000 : Column 486

9.2 p.m.

[Amendment No. 365A not moved.]

[Amendment No. 365B had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

[Amendment No. 366 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.]

[Amendment No. 366A not moved.]

Clause 69 [Orders and regulations]:

[Amendment No. 367 not moved.]

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