Main | Thursday, July 02, 2009

UK: Conservative Party Apologizes For Anti-Gay Section 28 Legislation

In 1988 the UK enacted Section 28, a law which ordered that schools "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." The law was not repealed until 2003.

Yesterday, at a gay Pride event in London, the Conservative Party apologized for having sponsored the legislation.
David Cameron has issued an extraordinary apology on behalf of the Conservative Party for legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools. He said the party had 'got it wrong' when it introduced Section 28 in the late 1980s. It is one of a series of apologies Mr Cameron has made for his party's actions in government. [snip]

Section 28 was introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government in response to evidence of Left-wing councils promoting gay relationships in schools. It prevented councils and schools from intentionally promoting homosexuality, but became a focal point for anger for gay rights campaigners. Mr Cameron insisted he was making his apology because the legislation had been ' offensive to gay people'. 'I'm sorry for Section 28. We got it wrong. It was an emotional issue. We have got to move on and we have moved on,' he said.

He insisted that under his leadership the party was embracing gay rights and predicted it would produce Britain's first gay Prime Minister. 'Yes, we may have sometimes been slow and yes, we may have made mistakes, including Section 28, but the change has happened,' he said.
Britain's first openly gay Prime Minister, a Tory?

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