The UK’s Anti-Bullying Week, November 18-22, does not just draw attention and support to the cause this year; 2013 is also the ten-year anniversary of the nationwide abolition of the anti-gay Section 28. As such, the week has led to a slew of LGBT related anti-bullying support from politicians all over Great Britain.
In May 1988, under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Local Government Act, Section 28 was amended to state that the local authority “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The controversial amendment was repealed in Scotland in 2000 and in the rest of Great Britain on November 18, 2003.
Now, Section 28 has recently resurfaced as a point of discussion allowing politicians across the field to step up to revile the amendment, which was legislated under the conservative Tory party. With the Tory party back in power, combined with the Liberal Democrats, they have had a chance to apologize for the party’s previous decision.
Current Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, spoke to PinkNews, saying, “I’m extremely proud to be part of a government that looks to the future of LGBT rights.”
Labour Party Member of Parliament Ed Miliband also told PinkNews, “As we mark the 10th anniversary since Labour in government abolished Section 28 we remember that we must all speak up against prejudice. I don’t think that the person you love should determine the rights you have.”
He went on to add, “Despite progress on equal marriage there is more to be done. Too many young people still fear to come out at school due to bullying…As we remember the abolition of Section 28 we should take this opportunity to speak with one voice against homophobia, hate crimes and discrimination.”
This week has also led to people attempting to crack down on any residual prejudice following Section 28. According to the Independent, Campaigners have found that more than forty schools in Great Britain do not wish to “promote” same-sex sexual education or remain ambiguous on the issue.
This high number of institutions not addressing such an important subject calls into question how much more needs to be done to improve gay rights. And now, with Politicians backing the progress of LGBT rights, hopefully schools will finally have to jump on the bandwagon to eradicate homophobia at the age it first begins.