Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 6th May 2008.

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Photo of Patrick Cormack Patrick Cormack Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee 6:15 pm, 6th May 2008

Yes, I understand the Under-Secretary's point, but I believe that we are considering an imperfect way of dealing with the problem. I was brought up on Voltaire's maxim:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", and that of Dean Swift:

"He lash'd the vice, but spared the name".

We have moved a long way from those propositions in the Bill and in much other legislation that we have passed in recent years. I am worried lest people who do not intend to do anything other than proclaim their heartfelt beliefs fall foul of the measure. I repeat that I do not doubt the Under-Secretary's good intentions, integrity or belief that she has found a solution, but I beg leave to remain unconvinced by it.