Equality Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 9th November 2005.

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Photo of Baroness Turner of Camden Baroness Turner of Camden Labour 3:45 pm, 9th November 2005

My Lords, I would like to congratulate my noble friend Lord Alli on the persistence with which he has campaigned for the rights of gay and lesbian people. I have done my best to support him from these Benches. I am very glad that, this afternoon, we on this side of the House are supporting what I think is a first step towards achieving non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in respect of this group of people.

We have been talking about this issue for a very long time; it has been repeatedly discussed in this House, and there has been support from all sides of the House. I really think that it is about time that we passed this amendment and got on with the task of ensuring that, in future, people in this group are neither discriminated against nor harassed. Discrimination and harassment against groups of people on grounds of sexual orientation should be totally outlawed. I hope that we shall pass these amendments this afternoon and take a great step towards achieving that objective. I fully support these amendments.