Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

Baroness Young: My Lords, I should like to start by thanking all those who have supported me in this long debate. A long time ago, the noble Earl, Lord Russell, said that the government amendment is of course a fudge. It is of course a fudge. One had only to listen to the arguments to see how they had brought together those who believe in marriage and those who do not believe in marriage. I listened with care to the speech of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Blackburn, who said, if I understood him correctly, that he believed in putting marriage first but of course we are

23 Mar 2000 : Column 477

in the real world and everything else had to be considered as well. So, of course, this is a fudge. The noble Baroness, Lady Richardson, clearly puts marriage at the bottom of her list of things. Everything else is more important.

Baroness Richardson of Calow: My Lords, I must protest against that. No one has ever accused me of not believing in marriage. I believe marriage to be extremely important. Nothing that I said could be construed as saying that marriage is not at the top of my list.

Baroness Young: My Lords, I am very pleased to have that statement from the noble Baroness. I shall read again her speech, but the way I heard it, it did not sound quite like that. I can assure her that I have very many friends who are Methodists who would not agree with a great deal of what she said.

Noble Lords: Oh!

Baroness Young: My Lords, I have listened quite quietly to all the speeches and I would be obliged if I was not interrupted during mine. It would be very nice if noble Lords would just listen and let me get on with it.

This is a very serious issue. It is not a matter for fudge. It is not actually a matter for a compromise. What in fact is being put before the House is not a compromise but a very clever collection of well spun words which amount to allowing not just marriage but homosexual or other relationships to be equated equally. I would not have stood up so many times to speak in your Lordships' House if I did not always put first in my remarks children. We are talking about children--children who are obliged to go to school; we are talking about responsible parents; and we are putting before them something which is very confused indeed. I have read the 28 pages of guidance. Marriage is hardly mentioned. It is all about sex and relationships. That is the confusion which is put before young people today.

I believe, as I have said many times before, that when you teach, you should teach the ideal to children--what we would like to see that is best. We do that in other subjects. We choose not to do it in this one. However, I do not believe that we should accept the government amendment this evening. It is not a compromise. It is, in fact, not a substitute for Section 28; it is what preceded Section 28 in another form of words--a rather dangerous form of words at that.

I shall not say anything more this evening. I do not accept the government amendment. I ask the House to support me in my amendments which I believe correct the Government's amendment and provide something which is worthy to put before our children. I commend my amendment to the House.

8 p.m.

On Question, Whether Amendment No. 8, as an amendment to Amendment No. 7, shall be agreed to?

23 Mar 2000 : Column 478

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 190; Not-Contents, 175.

Division No. 3


Aberdare, L.
Ackner, L.
Aldington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Archer of Weston-Super-Mare, L.
Arran, E.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Barber, L.
Bell, L.
Bellwin, L.
Belstead, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brightman, L.
Burnham, L.
Buscombe, B.
Butterworth, L.
Buxton of Alsa, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carnarvon, E.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Chadlington, L.
Chalfont, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cockfield, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cowdrey of Tonbridge, L.
Cox, B.
Craig of Radley, L.
Cranborne, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cuckney, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Deedes, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goschen, V.
Greenway, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hambro, L.
Hanham, B
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Home, E.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hussey of North Bradley, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
James of Holland Park, B.
Jellicoe, E.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Keith of Castleacre, L.
Kelvedon, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Wartnaby, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lane, L.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Longford, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McFarlane of Llandaff, B.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Mancroft, L.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Moore of Lower Marsh, L.
Moran, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nickson, L.
Norfolk, D.
Northbourne, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Oliver of Aylmerton, L.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Parkinson, L.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Porter of Luddenham, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prentice, L.
Prior, L.
Pym, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Reay, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
Sainsbury of Preston Candover, L.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Stallard, L.
Sterling of Plaistow, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tenby, V.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Thomas of Swynnerton, L.
Tombs, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vinson, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wharton, B.
Wilberforce, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winchester, Bp.
Wolfson, L.
Wolfson of Sunningdale, L.
Young, B. [Teller]


Addington, L.
Alderdice, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Attenborough, L.
Avebury, L.
Bach, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Birt, L.
Blackburn, Bp.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Flowers, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gilbert, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greengross, B.
Gregson, L.
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hattersley, L.
Hayman, B.
Hereford, Bp.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howells of St Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Hutchinson of Lullington, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Jacobs, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Joffe, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Levy, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Lipsey, L.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Ludford, B.
McCarthy, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Newby, L.
Nicholson of Winterbourne, B.
Nicol, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Oxford, Bp.
Paul, L.
Peston, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Portsmouth, Bp.
Prashar, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L
Renwick of Clifton, L.
Richard, L.
Richardson of Calow, B.
Rix, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Russell, E.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sewel, L.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stern, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Wakefield, Bp.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Dartington, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and Amendment No. 8, as an amendment to Amendment No. 7, agreed to accordingly.

23 Mar 2000 : Column 480

8.12 p.m.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, with the leave of the House, this amendment has demolished the carefully constructed agreement and safeguards built into the government amendment to the Learning and Skills Bill on the provision of sex education. It has deliberately excluded the key objective that pupils are given accurate information for the purposes of enabling them to understand difference and preventing or removing prejudice.

The prevention and removal of prejudice are essential to the building of a society in which citizens respect one another. The Government are not prepared to support legislation which will leave children from different family backgrounds to be stigmatised and could lead to discrimination and bullying.

In the light of this amendment, and after my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has consulted the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, I wish to tell the

23 Mar 2000 : Column 481

House that we shall seek to delete this amendment in another place. It remains for me to pay tribute to those who at some personal cost have been prepared to sit down and work out a rational way forward.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page