§ 3. Dr. Evan Harris (Oxford, West and Abingdon)
If he plans to repeal the restrictions on the promotion of homosexuality by local authorities. 
§ The Minister for Local Government and the Regions(Mr. Nick Raynsford)
We remain committed to taking forward the statement in our manifesto.
§ Dr. Harris
Does the Minister accept that section 28 is a stain on our statute book that promotes only intolerance and prevents local councils and schools from tackling prejudice and homophobic bullying? Given the Government's failure to abolish section 28 in the last Parliament, should not they have the courage of their convictions and put its abolition in a Government Bill to send a signal to people outside, the Conservatives and the other place that we are intent on abolishing it as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Raynsford
We agree with the hon. Gentleman that section 28 does not serve a useful purpose and is offensive to many people. Since the Learning and Skills Act 2000 was introduced, separate measures apply in schools so section 28 does not inhibit proper sex education in schools.
§ Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire)
Does the Minister think that anyone should actively promote homosexuality in schools?
§ Mr. Raynsford
It is entirely a matter for individuals what they wish to promote, but we do not believe that any public authority should, and there is no provision that allows that. Section 28 has never been used for the purpose to which the hon. Gentleman refers, but it is offensive because it refers to a certain section of the community as having "pretended…relationships", a disparaging comment that is deeply offensive to gay and lesbian people.