LGBT+ History: Section 28

Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the 1987 Conservative Party Conference, issued the statement “Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay”. Backbench Conservative MPs and Peers had already begun a backlash against the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality and, in December 1987, Clause 28 is introduced into the local government bill by Dame Jill Knight, Conservative MP for Birmingham Edgbaston.

Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 is passed. The Act states that a local authority “shall not intentionally 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 pretended family relationship”.

While the law was overturned by a successive government it was still being reported in 2013 that some Academy schools had been adopting policy statements which echo the bill caused outrage amongst MP’s and activists alike.  This prompted OFSTED to include the following supplementary advice into school guidelines into Sex Relationship Education curriculum in 2014:

  • is inclusive of difference: gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, culture, age, faith or belief, or other life experience*

*Education Guidance DfEE (0116/2000)


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