Second Reading (Continued)

Part of Equality Bill – in the House of Lords at 6:04 pm on 15th December 2009.

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Photo of Lord Alli Lord Alli Labour 6:04 pm, 15th December 2009

I do not mind what we call it. I have heard marriage described in many ways in itself.

The second issue that I wanted to raise relates to one class of people who are not protected from employment discrimination because of their sexuality. I also welcome the refinement of the employment regulations contained in the Bill. In crafting our legislation all those years ago, noble Lords may remember that we allowed one exemption, and one exemption only. That exemption was for the clergy. This is not an attack on the church, but I do not believe that anybody should be sacked from or persecuted in their job or vocation because of their sexuality. I understand the controversial nature of some of what I am proposing, but persecution is persecution, and we should have done away with the persecution of priests a long time ago.