Main | Monday, April 08, 2013

Margaret Thatcher Dead At 87

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died following a stroke at the age of 87.   Via the Telegraph:
Her son, Sir Mark, and daughter Carol confirmed that she died this morning. Lord Bell, her spokesman, said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.A further statement will be made later." Known as the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher governed Britain from 1979 to 1990.

She will go down in history not only as Britain's first female prime minister, but as the woman who transformed Britain's economy in addition to being a formidable rival on the international stage. Lady Thatcher was the only British prime minister to leave behind a set of ideas about the role of the state which other leaders and nations strove to copy and apply.
RELATED: Thatcher's most-lasting legacy for many LGBT people will be the introduction of the infamous Section 28, the 1988 bill which banned the "promotion" of homosexuality. Section 28 came about due to the response to a gay-friendly children's book. Sound familiar?
The MPs had been moved to act by a sensationalised tabloid newspaper story about a book, which one left-wing Labour-controlled council had a single copy of, in a resource library. It was about how a child might deal with living in a household with two gay men as her fathers. This coincided with the Tory Party Conference in 1987, and the story goes that the then prime minister, Mrs Thatcher, was walking past Jill Knight who said "we must do something about loony-left councils promoting homosexuality in schools". Almost without thinking, Mrs Thatcher said: "Yes. Why don't you work it into the local government bill?
And this is how Section 28 read:
Local authorities 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.
Section 28 was not repealed until 15 years later in November 2003. In 2009 then Tory leader and now Prime Minister David Cameron officially apologized for Section 28, saying that the Tories "had got it wrong." He added, "I hope you can forgive us."

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