Section 28 was repealed in Scotland in 2000, and the rest of the UK in 2003. For the first time in 12-15 years it was not illegal to promote homosexuality in schools, and pupils who identified as LGBTIQ+ were no longer legally discriminated against in government run educational facilities.
Section 28 caused profound damage to some of the school pupils who were affected by it. For many others it had a lasting effect on their self-esteem and confidence.
See Supporting Links in 'Resources' for videos of LGBTIQ+ adults who grew up under Section 28 telling their stories. The law also served to stifle those who wanted to support the LGBTIQ+ young people in their care. It legitimised homophobic abuse from peers and the wider public, and prevented progress towards equal rights.
The UK has come a long way since Section 28 was enacted in 1988. Same-sex marriage was legalised in March 2014 in England, Wales and Scotland, and in Northern Ireland in 2020. Pride, the festival celebrating the LGBTIQ+ community has grown in size and support and spread to cities across the country. It draws people from all kinds of backgrounds, and sexual orientations, including straight.
However, despite laws being passed to help ensure equality, people who identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community still face discrimination and abuse throughout the UK.
LGBTIQ+ Rights Across the Globe
The rights of people who identify as LGBTIQ+ vary across the world, with some countries providing more legal protection than others.
There are still many countries where it is illegal to be homosexual, and those caught can be sent to prison.
In these places, LGBTIQ+ people are not free to live or love openly and live each day in fear.