Lords vote for free speech on 'gay hatred' law
This was not a pro-gay, anti-gay issue, but simply one of the right to freedom of speech. The amendment says: ‘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 would seem to be a perfectly measured and utterly reasonable amending clause, and one that is imperative for the orthodoxy of a number of faiths.
Although there are other protections in the proposed law which are similar to the protections in the religious hatred law, there is no free speech clause. Lord Waddington’s amendment is an important clause for the protection for religious liberty. The similar law on religious hatred has a free speech protection. If the 'homophobic hatred' law did not have one, it would be a bizarre inconsistency.
The amendment must, of course, be approved by the Commons, where the Government may try to overturn it…