MPs at Westminster voted on Tuesday night to remove protections for freedom of speech from a "hate crimes" bill, but a vote in the House of Lords retained the wording. In a vote of 338 to 136, the House of Commons agreed with homosexual activists who wanted wording removed that would have allowed Christians and others who objected to homosexual behaviour to preach Christian sexual morality in public without fear of prosecution.
Peers in the House of Lords, however, voted today to retain an amendment that allows religious people to claim freedom of religious expression when charged with "inciting hatred". The House of Commons was forced to let the wording remain in the bill due to time constraints.
The amendment says, "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."