4th August 2000 at 01:00
SECTION 28 is of more symbolic than actual importance. Nevertheless, the British Humanist Association, which promotes reason and tolerance and opposes religious prejudice, was sorry that the abolition of Section 28 was rejected by the House of Lords this week.

Most humanists will be hoping that the Government has the moral courage to try again.

The assumptions behind the clause are absurd, and its message offensive and discriminatory, but those in education should remember that the ocal Government Act of 1988 does not actually apply to schools, but only to local authorities.

Schools can still run effective personal social and health education and anti bullying programmes. Fortunately, sex and relationships education is determined by schools with the support of parents and governors, not by the local education authority or the House of Lords.

Marilyn Mason

Education officer

British Humanist Association

47 Theobalds Road

London WC1

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