Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:00 pm on 24th July 2000.

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Photo of Lord Whitty Lord Whitty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions 8:00 pm, 24th July 2000

My Lords, I thought that I had made it clear earlier that, although I regard the amendment of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman, as a significant move away from the discriminatory wording of Section 28 and believe that it is in that sense an improvement, it has some serious flaws and serious uncertainties. I would not therefore wish to encourage the House to vote for something which is as equally subject to different interpretations as Section 28 itself. If the House were to pass that amendment, following a defeat of the amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, the Government would have to consider that position and consider whether subsequent changes would be necessary or whether we could continue to live with that amendment, given that it is--I accept the good will in these matters of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Brightman--an improvement on the current situation. However, I think that a cleaner answer tonight would be to vote for the repeal of Section 28, to reject the amendments of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and to give a clear signal that this House does not wish to give any succour to those who discriminate against any section of our community.