Section 28 was introduced by the Conservative government in 1988 and its aim was to forbid authority figures in education, such as teachers, normalising or even talking about the existence of homosexuality.
Teachers who taught in schools during the late 1980s and 1990s were unable to teach or speak on issues of homosexuality because of the Local Government Act in England – a piece of legislation introduced by the Conservative government under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in 1988 banning the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.
It made dealing with homophobic bullying near impossible and sex education for gay, lesbian and bisexual teens was non-existent.
Critics of the Bill say that it created an environment of fear and exclusion during a time when the AIDS epidemic was raging through the gay community. During the time of its enforcement, many LGBT+ teachers felt it prohibited them being open about their own sexual identity in the workplace, while many school-aged LGBT+ pupils were unable to access information to help them learn about being LGBT
Section 28 was supported by a number of religious groups including, Salvation Army, the Christian Institute, the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, 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.
When was Section 28 repealed?
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Labour government repealed the law in 2003.
In Scotland, similar legalisation was introduced called Section 2A.
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.