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Lord Marlesford: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for his comments. I felt, frankly, that he very largely made my case, because he emphasised again the areas that the clause does not cover and that will not be helped by it. He referred to a tragic case which would almost certainly—although I do not know further details—come into that category.

I am sure that the noble Lord, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, would like to have every Bill with a Clause 22. There can be few examples that he would not be able to give where almost every clause of the Human Rights Act ought to apply if it does not already. Frankly, I was not convinced by the Minister.

Parliament has been increasingly criticised for its failure to put the executive right. In fact, that is one of the arguments increasingly put forward for the growing power of the media. I believe that in this small example we have the opportunity of correcting a nonsense and removing what I see as an ineffective and profoundly illiberal clause. I therefore invite noble Lords from all parts of the House to join me in the Lobby in removing it.

6.9 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 108; Not-Contents, 145.

Division No. 4

CONTENTS

Astor of Hever, L.
Bagri, L.
Blackwell, L.
Boothroyd, B.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalfont, L.
Coe, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cooke of Islandreagh, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Crickhowell, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Denham, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Feldman, L.
Fitt, L.
Fookes, B.
Freeman, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Harris of High Cross, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Home, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
Maginnis of Drumglass, L.
Marlesford, L. [Teller]
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Molyneaux of Killead, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Northbrook, L.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B. [Teller]
Palmer, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Reay, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rogan, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Simon of Glaisdale, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Tebbit, L.
Tombs, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Weatherill, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Windlesham, L.
Wolfson, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barker, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Billingham, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craigavon, V.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Ezra, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Gavron, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grantchester, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hamwee, B.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Haskins, L.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lipsey, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lockwood, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Northover, B.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
Ouseley, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rennard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Winston, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

10 Feb 2004 : Column 1088

6.19 p.m.

An amendment (privilege) made.

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Filkin).

Lord Tebbit: My Lords, I shall be brief. First, I express my thanks, especially to the noble Lord, Lord Filkin, and his colleagues on the Front Bench. The Bill is highly contentious and quite emotive, and I greatly appreciated the courtesy and good humour with which it was debated in the Chamber; and, occasionally, the even greater humour with which it was debated just outside the door, I must confess.

I hope that the noble Lord will not think that I am misquoting him, for I cite from memory rather than Hansard, when I say that at the end of Second Reading, he declined to argue with me because he saw my objections to the Bill as being objections of principle and therefore incapable of being moved. That is rather a pity; we should sometimes try to change people's minds over objections in principle. In many ways, we should try harder at that. The noble Lord rarely dealt with the arguments for the numerous amendments that I moved. It was not a discourse of the deaf: we heard and understood each other; but, all too often, we did not really engage in debate about the issues.

10 Feb 2004 : Column 1089

On secular grounds, I objected to a law that requires a public servant to certify as true that which is not true. That is not that a person may have changed sex. Whether that is possible is a matter of debate, but it is not open to debate that if a child is certified at birth as female and subsequently gives birth, the odds are heavily that she was born a girl. A subsequent sex change may or may not be real, but it cannot change the fact of her birth. The Bill purports that that fact can be changed and requires a public servant to certify that it has happened, when clearly it has not. The Bill is unchanged not only from Second Reading but from First Reading in that respect.

On grounds of common sense, I objected to the fact that the Bill would allow the marriage of two persons, each bearing the chromosomes, genitalia and gonads of the same sex, provided only that one of them believed—and persuaded a panel of experts to believe—that he or she had changed sex. My amendment on that matter was rejected.

On religious—or, perhaps I should say, Church—grounds, I found myself greatly in agreement with my noble friend Lady O'Cathain on a number of amendments that she moved, all of which were rejected. I find it disturbing that sport seems in Ministers' minds to need more protection than religion. It seems to me that it is bishops rather than footballers who are an endangered species these days.

Lastly, I say again how sorry I am that we have not heard the voice of Islam in our debates. I think that, with the sole exception of sport, the Bill is now as bad a Bill as it was when it was introduced to the House. I therefore object to it and will ask the House to reject it.


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