KS3 History
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KS3 History
Section 28
and
‘Promoting Homosexuality’
by Tony Fenwick
CEO, LGBT History Month
(2A – (1) A local authority shall not:
(a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality
(b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship)
To think about:
replace the word in green with any of the following and read aloud:
Christianity; disability; Judaism; Islam; poverty; white Europeans; youth
How does it make you feel?
Does it make sense?
What does ‘promote’ mean?
Can you promote a sexual orientation?
  • ALL of you will understand Section 28 and know something about the time it was introduced in Britain
  • MOST of you will explain its effects and its place in a changing society
  • SOME of you will evaluate its significance and relate it to other equalities laws and campaigns
(2A – (1) A local authority shall not:
(a) intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality
(b) promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship)
Section 28 (or Clause 28) was introduced into Britain in 1988.
  • It was not aimed at schools but the local authorities, which ran state schools at the time, were liable.
  • It was repealed in 2003.
  • Before it was introduced, like other parliamentary bills, it went back and forward from the House of Lords to the House of Commons, to be discussed, debated and voted upon.
  • The Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher voted in favour and it was passed.
  • There were massive protests before, during and after its introduction.
Sue mentions Lord Halsbury, Baroness Young and Margaret Thatcher; national figures.
  • Who was not in favour of Section 28 at the beginning and why?

She then talks about Ken Livingstone and Frances Morrell; local figures.
  • Which groups, according to Sue, did they want to make visible?
  • Between whom was there ‘massive tension’?
  • Margaret Thatcher thought the current law was sufficient
  • LGBT and black people
  • The local council and the National Government
Sue describes herself as a drama teacher and talks about some other activists and people in the theatre. The Drill Hall was a theatre in London and became the RADA Studio in 2012
  • How and why, according to Sue, did Margaret Thatcher change her mind?
  • What did Sue and her fellow campaigners have to learn very quickly?
  • She needed the Lords’ support and did a deal
  • They had to learn how parliament or government works to prevent the Clause passing through
Sue talks about the protest after Section 28 was passed
  • Where were the demos that she mentions?
  • How, according to Sue, did the media manipulate the situation?
Sue talks about the protest after Section 28 was passed
  • Manchester and London
  • They put the cameras and microphones in front of the protestors so the audience didn’t hear the abuse from the other side
Sue is asked if she was proud of her protests against Section 28
  • How, according to Sue, did the campaign against Section 28 change people’s perceptions in Britain?
Sue is asked if she was proud of her protests against Section 28
  • People were united when they realised that it wasn’t just about LGBT; you could be oppressed for your colour, race, disability, beliefs etc.
  1. According to Section 28, what could a local authority not promote?
  2. When was Section 28 introduced into British law?
  3. Who was Prime Minister?
  4. When was it repealed?
  5. Why did many people protest against it?
  6. Name some groups that protested against it.
  7. Name some ways they protested against it.
more free lesson plans available at:
www.the-classroom.org.uk