Lords approve Section 28 compromise

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The abolition of Section 28, which bans the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities, came a step closer last night when peers supported a compromise proposal to introduce new sex-education guidelines.

The abolition of Section 28, which bans the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities, came a step closer last night when peers supported a compromise proposal to introduce new sex-education guidelines.

The House of Lords rejected Tory moves to strengthen the importance of marriage in the guidelines by 234 votes to 220. Ministers now hope the victory will pave the way for a vote on the repeal of Section 28 later this month.

Baroness Jay of Paddington, Leader of the House of Lords, said after the vote on the Learning and Skills Bill: "The vote tonight was a rejection of knee-jerk politics in favour of a grown-up consensual approach to a very important issue."

Peers also approved an amendment by the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Alan Chesters, which acknowledged that children should "learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life".

However, Baroness Young, who led the Tory opposition, said: "My amendments are an absolute minimum requirement and are in the interests of children and of parents."

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