Sunday, July 26, 1998 Published at 04:20 GMT 05:20 UK
Gay rights struggle continues
Ann Keen: talks with Jack Straw continue
Supporters of lowering the gay age of consent have vowed to fight on after last week's House of Lords defeat for the Crime and Disorder Bill containing the provision.
The bill must receive Royal assent by the end of the parliamentary term on Friday if it is to become law.
On Friday Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government did not want to lose the bill.
Ann Keen says talks with Jack Straw have continued over the weekend and that she will meet him at the Home Office on Monday.
Mr Straw is likely to be asked to give his view when he appears on BBC One's Breakfast With Frost on Sunday.
The Archbishop of Canterbury's views will also be aired in a pre-recorded interview on the programme.
An NOP poll carried out on Friday for the Express newspaper suggests that only 26% of the British public now thinks the gay age of consent should be lowered.
Support for change waning
When the same question was put in October 1997, 35% agreed.
While nearly half of under-24s appear to favour a change in the law, only 11% of over-65s agree.
Ann Keen told reporters she was not surprised at the change. She said that the claims made in the House of Lords debate were "outrageous, offensive and inaccurate".
"No wonder people are going around saying, 'my goodness'."
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