After section 9

Part of Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:15 am on 7th December 2006.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green 10:15 am, 7th December 2006

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton told us that amendment 86 is wise and far-sighted, but it is exactly the opposite. If some adoption agencies are going to continue to discriminate, it is a good idea that they refer people on to an agency that will not discriminate. It is a good idea to have that rule. However, it is a bad idea for us to pass an amendment to put that in the bill because, as Kate Maclean says, that will be taken as our sanctioning and explicitly approving of such discrimination in law.

We can have an argument about whether such discrimination is acceptable or unacceptable. What surprises me most is that it was Michael McMahon who lodged amendment 86, given that his party wants Westminster to deal with discrimination issues for us. His party is dealing with such issues at Westminster through legislation and policy.

It strikes me as short-sighted and unwise for members to agree to an amendment that cuts across the anti-discrimination work that is being done, whether they are in the party that is progressing that work or an Opposition party. I ask members not to support amendment 86, not to give discrimination an explicit endorsement and not to cut across the future work on equality that will be done elsewhere.