Nov. 18 Marks 10 Years Since the Demise of Section 28

UK Map with Flag

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.

New “Section 28”-Style Anti-Gay Censorship in the U.K.? (With Mon. & Tues. Updates)

Red Circle with Line: Banned

Gay Star News revealed over the weekend that several state-funded schools in the United Kingdom have policies banning the “promotion of homosexuality” (whatever that means) in school.

[Monday morning update: According to the latest reports, up to 44 schools in England and Wales have similar anti-gay policies. The British Humanist Association has been investigating the matter. Gay Star News also has a Monday update by Jane Fae.]

[Tuesday update: Additional coverage of the growing controversy from The Independent]

The policies are reminiscent of a Margaret-Thatcher-era law known as Section 28, which prohibited schools in the U.K. from “promot[ing] homosexuality” or publishing “material with the intention of promoting homosexuality”; the law also barred schools from “promot[ing] the teaching … of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.

The U.K. government repealed Section 28 in 2003.

LGBT Youth News Roundup: July 19, 2013

Portrait of California Governor Jerry Brown

Welcome to the LGBT Youth News Roundup for July 19, 2013!

Here are some of the latest developments:

Law and policy:

•  The Washington Blade provides an update on the federal Student Non-Discrimination Act: “House lawmakers spoke out this week in favor of legislation aimed at prohibiting the bullying and harassment of LGBT students as Republican lawmakers refused a vote on such a measure as part of an education reform bill.”

• California Governor Jerry Brown (pictured above) has yet to sign (or veto) a bill that would clarify protections for transgender students.

•  Oregon school districts in Salem-Keizer and Lake Oswego have taken steps to conform their anti-bullying policies to the Oregon Safe Schools Act.

•  The Montana Board of Regents has voted to broaden the state university system’s anti-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

•  In a heated debate over a non-discrimination policy, an Orleans Parish School Board member claimed there is “no such thing” as the separation of church and state.