Today marks ten years since the repeal of Section 28.
Enacted by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1988, the British law prohibited schools from “teaching …. the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It also barred schools from “intentionally promot[ing] homosexuality or publish[ing] material with the intention of promoting homosexuality.”
An effort to get rid of the noxious law gained strength in the early 2000s, and on November 18, 2003, a bill repealing Section 28 finally went into effect.
Earlier today, PinkNews published a statement by Gloria de Piero, the Labor Party’s current “Shadow Minister for Women and Equality,” about Section 28’s effect and the progress made since its approval. It reads in part:
During the 15 years [Section 28] was in force it came to symbolise the prejudice lesbians and gays faced in society, but it also demonstrated the incredible strength and courage of a community which wasn’t prepared to be bowed by bigotry or ignorance. Stonewall [a Britsh LGBT advocacy organization] was founded in reaction to Section 28, and by the time Tony Blair repealed it, we had criminalised homophobic hate crime, Chris Smith had been elected as the first openly gay MP and civil partnerships were on the horizon.
England and Wales now recognize same-sex marriage as well.
Related Youth Allies Links:
- New “Section 28″-Style Anti-Gay Censorship in the U.K.? (August 2013)
- Margaret Thatcher, LGBT Equality, and Today’s Section 28s (April 2013)
- Does Your State Have a “No Promo Homo” Law? (March 2013)
- Schools Teach About Same-Sex Marriage (Whether They Intend to or Not) (December 2012)