The Governments' Racial & Religious Hatred Bill was savaged by peers last night. Lord Lester, Lord Hunt of Wirral, Lord Plant of Highfield and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey forced a vote on their amendment to water down the Bill and won by 260 votes to 111, two-and-a-half to one, a massive victory. There can be no doubt that our prayer, lobbying of peers and the two protest vigils outside the House of Lords, on 11th July and 11th October, have all been honoured by Almighty God.
Following the success of the vote, the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) will have to prove that words were threatening, not just abusive or insulting, and that it was the actual intention of the defendant to stir up religious hatred.
The Home Office have said they will not accept the amendments, because they could make it virtually impossible for the courts to secure convictions.
However, we believe the police could still arrest someone and subject him or her to weeks of time, expense and trouble until a court returns a 'not guilty' verdict. In short, this is still a bad Bill, and the Government must withdraw it. Click here for all the background: http://www.christianvoice.org.uk/hate.html
2. PRAYER POINTS
Keep praying against this Bill and for the speakers and the Government even when the Committee Stage passes, right through the progress of this Bill, and match prayer with action:
Write to your local peers using this list, thanking the House of its vote and asking peers to stand firm:
Email your MP using this list (most MPs do email) and ask your MP to support the Lords amendments and encourage the Government to withdraw the Bill:
I am praying even more now that the House of Commons rejects the Lords Amendments, but only with a tiny majority, for the House of Lords then to stand firm, for the Bill to fall and by that time for there to have been enough prayer for and lobbying of MPs so that the Government will ditch the whole thing. Prayer and lobbying of MPs is now crucial.
You can read news reports in the Independent:
And the Telegraph:
Some time later today, there should be a full report of the debate on the Lords Hansard part of the Parliament website:
Praise the Lord of lords today:
"Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary: praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness." (Psalm 150)