Wed. May 22nd, 2024

What is Section 28?

By Georgia McJannett-Smith Feb 22, 2023
Person holding sign that says 'Silence = Death! Then and now! Say Gay'Adults are still reaping the consequences of Section 28. Credit: Aiden Craver on Unsplash

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government, stated that a local authority “shall not promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretend family relationship.”

Student support groups had to close in fear of breaching the act, alongside teachers feeling unable to stand up for students that were bullied because their sexuality was considered aberrant.

There were widespread demonstrations against the law.

Section 28 jeopardised the wellbeing of children with both short and long-term consequences.

Additionally state funding was at risk if gay matters were discussed, meaning that sex education in regard to same-sex relationships was blatantly ignored. Inclusivity fell under the category of promotion.

In February 2000, the Labour government unsuccessfully attempted to revoke Section 28 on multiple occasions. However in September 2003, the Labour government passed legislation to repeal the law by a vote of MPs.

Consequently, the repeal became effective in December 2003 but the damage had been done.

By Georgia McJannett-Smith

Website Editor Interests: Heavy music, coffee and writing

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