Lords to Debate Sexual Orientation Amendment
This just in from the LCF:
The Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill has introduced a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. It is modelled on the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 which makes it an offence to incite hatred against a person on religious grounds. However, the 2006 Act has a free speech clause within it, so it is both logical and reasonable that such a clause should also be in this new offence.
An amendment to protect free speech in the incitement to hatred on sexual orientation grounds is likely to be considered in the House of Lords today.
It is similar to the clause in the Racial and Religious Hatred Act and has the following wording:
"Nothing in this Part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibits or restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathy towards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct related to that orientation."
This is being put forward by Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Lord Waddington, The Lord Bishop of Winchester and Lord Stoddart of Swindon
Please pray that the Lords will debate and/or vote in favour of this free speech clause today as they did for a similar free speech clause in the Racial and Religious Hatred Act. Traditionally the Lords have been in favour of standing up for and preserving democratic values and free speech needs such protection.
This amendment is vital for the effective protection of free speech so that Christian Biblical views on marriage, sexuality and relationships can continue to be promoted in the public square.
To read the LCF briefing please click on the following link:
I do think this is an excellent amendment and worthy of passing. I can’t see how it could be wrong to say to someone that you might disagree with a behaviour they undertake. Neither should discussing sexuality and criticising some theories about sexual attraction development be illegal. Looking forward to hearing how the debate went.
For those who are really geeky, the BBC’s live stream from the Lords is here.