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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 17:29 GMT
Clause to replace Section 28

School pupils
Councils will have a new duty of care as regards children


First Minister Donald Dewar has outlined the Scottish Executive's determination to repeal Section 28, the law which forbids the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Mr Dewar announced a package of measures to help guide schools on the sex education of children.

Duty of care

Section 28 will be repealed and a new clause will be included in the Ethical Standards Bill that will place a duty of care on local authorities.

It states:

(1) It is the duty of a council, in the performance of those of its functions which relate principally to children, to have regard to:

(a) the value of stable family life in a child's development; and

(b) the need to ensure that the content of instruction provided in the performance of those functions is appropriate, having regard to each child's age, understanding and stage of development.

'Discriminatory' law

Mr Dewar said that Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, introduced by the then Conservative government, discriminated against homosexuals and should be repealed.

In Scotland it is known as Section 2A and it provides:

2A (1) A local authority shall not:

(a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality

(b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken to prohibit the doing of anything for the purpose of treating or preventing the spread of disease.

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See also:
23 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Gay law row threatens coalition
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
MP rekindles Robertson row
21 Feb 00 |  Scotland
No replacement for Section 28
20 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Parents appeal in sex education debate
19 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Ministers split over Section 28 repeal
24 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Dewar aims to heal rift

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