Section 28 'compromise' clears way for its repeal by Scottish parliament

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Indy Politics

The Government's final attempt to repeal Section 28 before the next election began in earnest yesterday after MPs again voted to abolish the clause outlawing "promotion" of homosexuality.

The Government's final attempt to repeal Section 28 before the next election began in earnest yesterday after MPs again voted to abolish the clause outlawing "promotion" of homosexuality.

The vote, in the committee stage of the Local Government Bill, came as the Scottish parliament prepared for its final vote later today on abolishing the controversial measure in Scotland. The 129-member assembly is expected to repeal Section 28 by a large majority, after Scottish executive ministers agreed last Friday to accept a last-minute compromise under which the value of marriage is emphasised in sex education teaching in schools.

Sam Galbraith, the Scottish Education minister, said the statutory guidance would require teachers to "establish an awareness of the importance of stable family relationships, including the responsibilities of parenthood and marriage."

The measure is likely to satisfy Brian Souter, the millionaire owner of Stagecoach transport group, who has funded an aggressive £1.5m campaign to persuade the Scottish executive to retain Section 28.

Gay rights campaigners were disappointed to learn that the abolition is unlikely to take effect until next year.

In Westminster, MPs voted by 10 to four in favour of the amendment put forward by Hilary Armstrong, the local government minister, to repeal Section 28 in England and Wales. David Curry, the Tory MP for Ripon, abstained.

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