The defeated Equality Bill contains Harmanesque poison

Harriet Harman sneeringDAILY TELEGRAPH, 26 Jan 2010: Last night the Government was defeated in three key votes on the Equality Bill. The Bill is not all bad. It consolidates into one Bill a lot of anti-discrimination law (some good, some not so good) that is at present scattered across several Acts, making it easier to read and understand.

However, there are within it some really nasty Harmanesque capsules of authoritarian poison, and a prime example of European judicial Imperialism. Last night it was the Churches who were to be the victims, but in a packed House things did not go the way of the Government.

Before the main clash between the Government and the largely religious lobby, the prominent homosexual Labour peer Lord Ali moved some amendments which posed some awkward questions for those of us who do not believe that the state should look into men’s heads and seek to criminalise their thoughts, rather than their actions. Fortunately in the face of the Government’s opposition he did not push his amendments to a vote, although he might do at a later stage.

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