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Win on free speech amendment in Lords last night
In the House of Lords last night Lord Waddington succeeded in amending the incitement to "homophobic hatred" offence to include a free speech provision. Just before midnight Peers voted 81 to 57 in favour of this amendment.

Thank you to all those who prayed for this and/or who contacted Peers to attend this crucial vote. We thank God for answered prayer.

Though the Government seems to have tried to wrong foot Peers who wanted to vote for the free speech clause by unexpectedly extending the debate into late last night and switching the vote from Wednesday 23 April (when it was anticipated) to yesterday, sufficient Peers felt strongly enough to attend and stayed late to support Lord Waddington's amendment to maintain freedom of speech.

This is the amendment:

'In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.'
This is the link to last night's debate - the relevant part starts at Column 1365
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80421-0017.htm

This is the link for how Peers voted from Column 1377:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldhansrd/text/80421-0019.htm

The amendment still needs to be approved by the House of Commons. The Government may try to overturn it there. Let's continue to pray.

The amendment is an important protection for free speech and religious liberty.

Andrea Minichiello Williams
Public Policy Director
0207 407 6157

Lawyers' Christian Fellowship/Christian Concern for our Nation
http://www.ccfon.org
http://www.lawcf.org
Andrea Williams (LCF/CCFON) 22/04/2008 15:28

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