Here’s what Section 28 was all about
On the 30th anniversary of Section 28, we explore what the policy really meant, and the effect it had on LGBT people in the UK.
Thirty years ago, Margaret Thatcher introduced a dangerous piece of legislation that shook the lives of LGBT people across the country. This amendment to the Local Government Act was known as Section 28, or Clause 2a in Scotland.
The implementation of Section 28 meant that LGBT groups and clubs around the UK were forced to disband and LGBT-themed literature was off the shelves in libraries. It meant that positive depictions of LGBT life were completely wiped out in schools.
As a result, the LGBT community was made to feel as though they were second-class citizens and felt pressured to censor themselves and assimilate into society. The effects of Section 28 lasted – and will continue to last – for generations.
Theresa May spoke out in support of Thatcher’s policy, claiming that ‘most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there.’
For fifteen years after it was introduced, grassroots campaigners fought to throw out the Tories’ homophobic policy, and we’re proud that in 2003, the Labour government succeeded with thanks to the campaigners.
The last Labour government did more for the advancement of LGBT equality than any other government in British History, and the next will go even further.
Here’s our promise to the LGBT community:
- We will make LGBT hate crimes an aggravated offence
- We will protect specialist LGBT services, and ensure that health workers and teachers have specialist training, including on tackling homophobic, transphobic and biphobic bullying in schools.
- We will reform the Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act to provide greater protection to trans people.
- We will work and show solidarity with struggles for LGBT equality around the world, and pressure governments to enshrine these fundamental human rights
LGBT rights are human rights, and we’re proud to fight for and stand with the LGBT community.