Repeal Section 28 and 2A – England and Wales

Repeal Section 28 and 2A – England and Wales

When was Section 28 repealed?

In the early 2000s the Labour government in Westminster attempted to remove Section 28 as a law in England and Wales. The House of Lords rejected the first attempts. But the Local Government Act 2003 was successful. It came into force on 18 November 2003.

 

Who was against the repeal of Section 28?

Before its removal Section 28 was supported by religious groups such as The Christian Institute, the African and Caribbean Evangelical Association, the Christian Action Research and Education, the Muslim Council of Britain, and groups within the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. 

 

The Conservative Party remained in favour of keeping Section 28. In the House of Lords, the campaign against the repeal of Section 28 was led by the late Baroness Young. She became associated with opposition to any legislation more accepting of lesbian and gay people. Newspapers that strongly opposed repeal of Section 28 included The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph.

 

Why did they want to keep Section 28?

They said it protected children from ‘predatory homosexuals’ and people who wanted to turn children into homosexuals. They said learning about homosexuality in schools undermined marriage. They said Section 28 did not prevent pupils who were being bullied from getting support. They said the public wanted to keep Section 28.

 

Who supported the repeal of Section 28?

Organisations like Stonewall, OutRage!, The Pink Paper and the Gay Times formed the major opposition to Section 28. Well known politicians, actors, lawyers, and journalists also spoke out. Boy George wrote a song ‘No Clause 28’. The band Chumbawamba sang ‘Smash Clause 28! Fight The Alton Bill!’ as a benefit record for the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and the Women’s Reproductive Rights Campaign.

 

Political parties that were opposed to Section 28 included the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. In the House of Lords the campaign for repeal was led by openly-gay peer Waheed Alli. Newspapers that strongly supported repeal of Section 28 included The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Mirror. 

 

Why did they want Section 28 repealed?

The said it was an intolerant and unjust law. They said it obstructed LGBT support groups. Teachers did not feel confident protecting victims of homophobic bullying. They said it was endangering vulnerable children. They said it suggested that homosexuality was a choice which people could be persuaded to make.

 

What have those who supported Section 28 said?

Some of the MPs who supported Section 28 have expressed regret over their support. Two Conservative Party leaders Michael Howard and David Cameron have said Section 28 was a mistake. They had voted against the repeal of Section 28.

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