Government defeated by Lords with sex education change

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Indy Politics

The Government was defeated in the Lords over its compromise proposals to introduce new sex education guidance for teachers. Voting was 190 votes to 175, majority 15. Peers backed amendments proposed by Conservative Baroness Young who argued it was vital that children should be protected from any moves to promote homosexuality in schools.

Her amendments strengthened the guidance and underlined the importance of marriage. But Education Minister Baroness Blackstone immediately announced that the Government would seek to reverse the defeat when the Learning and Skills Bill reaches the Commons.

The vote follows a spiralling row inside and outside Parliament over the Government's bid to repeal Section 28 of the Local Government Bill, banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Peers defeated the Government over the issue last month.

Lady Young argued that the Government had equated "stable relationships" and marriage as "building blocks of society," and this would open the door to the promotion of homosexuality in the classroom.

Lady Blackstone said in a statement after the vote that the change to the guidance "has deliberately excluded the key objective that pupils are given accurate information for the purpose of enabling them to understand the difference and of preventing or removing prejudice."