Schedule 28 — Consequential amendments: Scotland

Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Partnerships Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women), Department of Trade and Industry 6:01 pm, 9th November 2004

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

The Civil Partnerships Bill marks an important stage in the ongoing progress towards equality for lesbian and gay people. Over recent years we have seen legislative and cultural changes that mark the growing confidence and maturity of our civil society. We have removed laws that stigmatised and excluded lesbian, gay and bisexual people from full involvement in the life of the nation. However, as my hon. Friend Angela Eagle rightly observed, just when we may feel that progress is being made, we are confronted with events that remind us, in the most appalling ways, of how much more is to be done. Incidents such as the senseless murder of David Morley, a survivor of the bomb attack on the Admiral Duncan pub, and another recent attack in which a man was stabbed on his way home from a night out, apparently simply because he was gay, demonstrate that we must continue to combat prejudice and hatred wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.

The way in which we legislate and conduct our discussions in this House sends an important signal about the respect and recognition that is due to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.