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Tuesday, 30 May, 2000, 11:45 GMT 12:45 UK
Section 28: They said it
Burning ballot paper
Section 28 has raised the temperature of Scottish politics
The result of the privately-funded ballot on the repeal of Section 28 has been announced, with1,094,440 people voting in favour of keeping the clause.

A total of 166,406 voted scrap it.

The issue has provoked strong reactions in Scotland. Here are some of those views:

Brian Souter, on the BBC's Question Time:

Open quote

A man can only marry one woman.

It discriminates against people who would be wanting to be polygamists.

It's that way because it's a moral issue and the law is backing up a moral case.

That's what Section 28 is about.

Close quote

Gay singer, Boy George, responding on Question Time:

Open quote

If Brian was a wealthy racist, we would all be sitting here saying, he has the right to express his views.
Close quote

Scottish Local Government Minister, Wendy Alexander:

Open quote

Two out of three Scots voters rejected, binned or simply ignored this glorified opinion poll.

More and more Scots have come to see that this is not about schools. It never was about our schools.

It's about the character of our society and whether Scotland is tolerant.

Close quote

Keep the Clause spokesman, referring to Brian Souter:

Open quote

He is not in this for personal glory.

He is fighting this battle because he is a father and committed Christian.

Close quote

Scottish Education Minister, Sam Galbraith:

Open quote

We never, ever ruled out statutory guid-ANCE.

Guide-LINES are the contents, guid-ANCE is about the conduct, and that's important.

Close quote

Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish National Party education spokeswoman:

Open quote

The ballot confirms what we already knew - that many people are concerned about the repeal of Section 2A.

We believe that the value of marriage should be clearly referred to in the guidelines, without denigrating other relationships or children brought up in other kinds of relationship.

Early publication of the revised guidelines is now a priority, and is needed to bring this issue to a close.

Close quote

Jack Irvine, Keep the Clause, talking about the ballot result:

Open quote

There will be no triumphalism, we won't be shouting up and down for victory.

We will simply be saying to the government, if we get the result we want, this is the view of a very large number of Scottish people.

I think you should acknowledge it.

Close quote

Tim Hopkins, Equality Network:

Open quote

Something like 70 to 75% of people in Scotland have either thrown their ballot paper away or have voted to repeal Section 28 and that's the most significant thing.
Close quote

Rozanne Foyer, of the Scottish Trades Union Congress:

Open quote

We have been utterly opposed to this ballot from the very beginning.

It has been nothing more than a cynical attempt to undermine our democratic processes and its execution has been insecure, unfair and ill thought-out.

Close quote

Spokesman for gay rights group Outright Scotland:

Open quote

The overwhelming majority - 72% of the electorate - have rejected Mr Souter's instructions to 'Keep the Clause'.

The conclusion here is that the people of Scotland are not concerned and/or don't view Souter's wheeze as a legitimate way of forming policy.

Close quote

Nora Radcliffe, MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrats:

Open quote

In a real referendum or election there are legally imposed spending limits applied to both sides.

In the Keep The Clause 'ballot' all the money was spent by one side. If this were a trade union ballot it would be illegal.

Close quote

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See also:

30 May 00 | Scotland
Poll backs Section 28 retention
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