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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
S28 repeal 'on course' in Scotland
a sex education class
Many peers say schools should promote marriage
The repeal of Section 28 is scheduled to go ahead in Scotland despite the Lords voting against scrapping the controversial clause in England.

The Scottish bill repealing the legislation, which prevents the promotion of homosexuality in schools, will be the first major piece of devolved legislation to differ from Westminster.

Last month, MSPs voted in favour of repealing Section 28 and the bill will shortly go forward for royal assent.

House of Lords
Peers rejected banning the clause by 42 votes
But on Monday evening, 42 peers in the House of Lords defied UK Government wishes and voted to retain the 12-year-old law in England and Wales.

The Scottish Executive remained defiant throughout that the clause had to go.

Fierce opposition came from Scottish businessman Brian Souter, who helped set up the Keep the Clause campaign group, and the Catholic Church in Scotland.

They were eventually placated by a compromise in new guidance on sex education in schools which spotlights marriage.

At Westminster, Local Government Minister Hilary Armstrong said she was "very disappointed" at the Lords vote.

It is the second time peers have rejected government plans to scrap Section 28 and ministers must now decide whether to drop the proposal in England and Wales.

It had been widely expected that if peers inflicted another defeat, the government would forego the repeal clause rather than lose its Local Government Bill in which plans for repeal appear.

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See also:

24 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Section 28: An overview
24 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Peers vote to keep gay ban
24 Jul 00 | Education
Section 28 more symbol than substance
18 Jul 00 | Education
Sex guidelines threat defeated
24 Jun 00 | Scotland
S28 debate - one to remember?
21 Jun 00 | Scotland
MSPs abolish Section 28
31 May 00 | UK
The Section 28 battle
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