Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Nick Herbert Nick Herbert Shadow Secretary of State (Justice) 5:45 pm, 6th May 2008

We need to remind ourselves that the purpose of the amendment is to say what will and will not be subject to the criminal law. The amendment does not weaken the protection for gay people, but it makes clear that the kind of temperate comment to which Stonewall referred will not be caught by the legislation.

I would rather that people did not make such comment. I do not wish to indicate to people any kind of licence to make such comment, whether it falls within the criminal law or not. However, we are not here to legislate for matters of taste; we are deciding whether comment should fall within the scope of the criminal law. All the amendment seeks to do is say that for the avoidance of doubt, criticism of sexual conduct and urging people to refrain from certain sexual conduct should not of itself be taken as threatening or intended to stir up hatred. That is a perfectly reasonable safeguard.

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mick angel
Posted on 7 May 2008 1:58 pm (Report this annotation)

A pleasant surprise to see a conservative minister giving the most common-sense summary of why the amendment(s) should stand.