Kent votes for its own Section 28

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Indy Politics

Kent county council voted yesterday to keep its own version of Section 28 - just days before the Government faces a fresh confrontation with the House of Lords over repealing the clause.

Kent county council voted yesterday to keep its own version of Section 28 - just days before the Government faces a fresh confrontation with the House of Lords over repealing the clause.

Peers are due to vote on the contentious legislation, which bans the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities, on Monday. The House of Lords threw out plans for the section's abolition earlier this year but ministers hope that they have since become less hostile.

They rejected a Tory amendment to strengthen the importance of marriage on Tuesday night and accepted a compromise put forward by the Bishop of Blackburn. However, Baroness Young, the Tory peer who has led opposition to section 28's abolition, has already announced she would seek to defeat the Government again.

This comes as councillors in Tory-controlled Kent voted by 40 votes to 36 to defy the Government by bringing in its own curriculum guidelines which state that schools should not "promote the teaching of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship". The guidelines will also "promote the teaching of marriage as the key building block of society". In addition, the council agreed that it would not publish, buy or distribute material "with the intention of promoting homosexuality".

Liberal-Democrat councillors said the guidelines would encourage homophobia in schools and Labour said that the Tories had no right to preach.

Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, the council leader, said: "The vote today installs our own form of Section 28. We want to place marriage at the centre of moral education because we have seen this huge breakdown of marriage and families and the consequences for children."

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