Local Government Bill
Lord Northbourne (Crossbench)
My Lords, I have put my name to the amendment. I do not wish to delay the House. I am sorry that this debate has, in my view, degenerated into another ongoing discussion about homosexuality, because I do not think that that is what this amendment is about. For me—one may think rather naively—the problem is much simpler. I believe that this amendment is about a tolerant and inclusive society. We know from the enormous lobby that many of us received that there are many in this country who are very deeply worried about the abolition of Section 28. I do not happen to be one of them. However, those people, whether they were right or wrong, were terrified that their children and grandchildren were going to be put in a situation where there was some sort of promotion of homosexuality or other kind of sexual lifestyle indoctrination.
We know that that is not the case. However, I believe that every government have the responsibility to act not only for those who vote for them but also, once they are elected, for all citizens. I think that the Government should show more concern for that enormous chunk of the population who are deeply worried about this situation. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to support the amendment tabled by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman. I also support the point that he made about the uncertainty which was created by negativing a positive statement without in any way making clear what we mean.