Clause 187

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 2 July 2009.

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Attorney General's Office 10:15, 2 July 2009

Amendment 308 would remove section 187(2), which prevents charities that provide benefits only to people of particular colour from relying on the exemption in subsections (1) and (2) of clause 186. The effect of the amendment would be that such a charity could seek to show that the restriction of benefits  was proportionate in achieving a legitimate aim. There is never any justification for discriminating between people who have different colours, and subsection 186(4) replicates that effect. The law has not changed since 1976, and it is a pity if it has not been understood during all that time. When a charitable instrument defines beneficiaries by reference to colour, the provision takes effect as if the reference to colour were completely disregarded. Therefore, there is no problem here.