In 1988 over 20,000 people took to the streets of Manchester to protest the Conservative Government’s controversial anti-gay legislation known as Section 28.


Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 meant that local authority employees, including school teachers, could 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 supported by a number of religious groups including, Salvation Army, the Christian Institute, the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance,[citation needed] Christian Action Research and Education, the Muslim Council of Britain, and groups within the Catholic Church and the Church of England.

It became law in England, Scotland and Wales on the 24th May 1988 under Margaret Thatcher‘s Tory government. Section 28 was repealed in 2003 by the Labour government. The Scottish government was able to repeal this bill in 2000 and was, in fact, one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament.

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Watch this incredible footage of the protest in Manchester.