What is Section 28?

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Section 28 refers to a piece of legislation in the United Kingdom, specifically in England, Wales, and Scotland. The provision was brought into effect by the Local Government Act 1988, amending the Local Government Act 1986 to introduce a new section 2A. It stated:  

"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 prohibited local authorities from "promoting" homosexuality or teaching about it in a positive light in schools. It was widely criticised by LGBTQ+ rights activists, educators, and politicians for its discriminatory nature and the negative impact it had on the LGBTQ+ community, particularly in terms of fostering an environment of intolerance and discrimination.  

Section 28 was eventually repealed in Scotland in 2000 and in England and Wales in 2003 under the Local Government Act 2003. Its repeal marked a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ rights in the UK. 

With the abolition of Section 28, local authorities gained the freedom to actively address the needs and rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and families without fear of legal repercussions. This marked a significant step forward in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusivity within communities across England, Wales, and Scotland. LGBTQ+ families could enjoy greater recognition, support, and protection under the law, fostering a more inclusive and accepting society. 

LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week (4-11 March) serves as a reminder for us to contemplate and take action on the support that LGBTQ+ families need to thrive. This annual campaign unites adoption and fostering agencies nationwide, facilitating connections with LGBTQ+ individuals considering adoption or fostering.