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BBC Scotland's Nigel Robson
"The group wants to see the law forbidding the promotion of homosexuality in schools as an accepted lifestyle go"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 8 March, 2000, 15:29 GMT
Section 28 protest group formed
Scrap the Section group
The campaigners are from variety of backgrounds
A new group has been launched in Scotland to campaign for the repeal of Section 28, the law which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

The Scrap the Section organisations is made up of a diverse range of individuals and groups, some of which have political affiliations.

Several MSPs from different parties were present at the launch in Edinburgh, which was timed to coincide with the Ethnical Standards in Public Life Bill beginning the committee stage of its passage through parliament.

Tim Hopkins
Tim Hopkins: Equal opportunities call
The bill will repeal Section 28 - or Clause 2a as it is referred to in Scotland - and replace it with a form of words that lays a duty on local authorities in delivering services that relate principally to children, to have regard to the value of "stable family life".

Scrap the Section is a latecomer to the debate, which has been driven in part by the Keep the Clause campaign with backing from Stagecoach tycoon Brian Soutar.

George McGregor, a spokesman for the new group, said: "We may not have Soutar's millions but we are convinced we will secure repeal of Section 28 because we have right on our side.

'Ending discrimination'

"Scrap the Section stands for ending discrimination and building a Scotland on the principles of equality and respect."

Tim Hopkins, from the Equality Network, which is also supporting the new group, said: "People all over Scotland, gay and straight, are outraged at the Keep the Clause campaign's attacks on the principles of equal opportunities."

Scrap the Section
The group was launched in Edinburgh
First Minister Donald Dewar, who has been under fire for his handling of the issue, has reinforced the Scottish Executive's commitment to repeal the legislation.

Several of Scotland's leading stand-up comics are taking part in a fund-raising event in Edinburgh on Wednesday night.

Organiser Peter Hunter added: "The arrival of the bill marks the beginning of the end for Section 28 and that means farewell to state-sponsored discrimination.

"We'll be raising funds, toasting the parliament and laughing all the way to the bank."

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See also:

24 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Dewar outlines Section 28 reform
24 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Clause to replace Section 28
23 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Gay law row threatens coalition
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
MP rekindles Robertson row
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