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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay
"The protest is just further evidence that this issue has led to people taking very different sides"
 real 28k

Monday, 8 May, 2000, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Sheridan protests against ballot
Ballot burning
There was a ceremonial burning of ballot papers
Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan has sought to highlight the fight against the privately-run Section 28 vote by attending a ceremonial burning of ballot papers.

The poll of Scotland's 4m electorate has been organised by the Keep the Clause Campaign - a group which wants the law banning the promotion of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship to be retained.

Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan: Against Keep the Clause
Mr Sheridan joined other protestors on Monday and burned ballot papers in Glasgow's George Square, opposite the city council buildings.

Keep the Clause, which is being funded by Scottish transport tycoon Brian Souter, says the politician was simply doing the Scottish Executive's propaganda work.

But Mr Sheridan hit back by saying the ballot was wrong and that democracy should not be "hijacked by wealthy individuals".

The campaign against the vote intensified over the weekend when ballot slips were binned and burned in Edinburgh.

Section 28 march

That coincided with the start of a march from Scotland to England which has been organised by gay and lesbian rights group Stonewall.

Its members say they want to make a public statement about the controversial law which is in the process of being abolished north and south of the border.

Brian Souter
Brian Souter: Funding the ballot
The march began on Saturday in Edinburgh and continued to Glasgow on Sunday.

It will also be visiting Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Leicester, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Southampton and Brighton.

The marchers will reach London on Sunday, 28 May, where they will go past the Houses of Parliament and then to Downing Street.

There they will hand in their Repeal Section 28 petition.

The Scottish Executive is well on the way to abolishing the current law and hopes the public will ignore the Keep the Clause ballot forms being delivered to them.

The results are expected to be published later this month.

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See also:

07 May 00 | Scotland
March for Section 28 repeal
06 May 00 | Scotland
Section 28 vote dubbed a farce
03 May 00 | Scotland
Section 28 ballot papers issued
27 Apr 00 | Scotland
Section 28 repeal under way
17 Apr 00 | Scotland
Souter presses on with poll
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