POLITICS
24/05/2018 10:10 BST | Updated 24/05/2018 11:31 BST

Theresa May's Support For Anti-LGBT Section 28 Law 'Disgraceful'

'A stain on our country’s history.'

Jack Taylor via Getty Images

Theresa May’s “disgraceful” past support for homophobic laws means progress can not be achieved while she is prime minister, the LGBT community has been warned.

In a letter published in Gay Times on Thursday, May said she wanted to “help make us a country where no one feels the need to hide who they are or who they love”.

But Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said “it is clear that progress will not come under this prime minister” given her past voting record and comments.

Today marks 30 years since section 28 was enacted. The law, introduced by Margaret Thatcher, banned the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools. It was repealed by the Labour government in 2003.

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
 the annual LGBT Pride Parade on July 08, 2017 in London.

Russell-Moyle told HuffPost UK: “Section 28 is a stain on our country’s history. This legislation, introduced by the Tories in the 1980s, stigmatised LGBTQ+ people and prevented us from receiving vital information and support during the HIV/Aids epidemic.”

“It’s disgraceful that we have a prime minister who defended, and voted to maintain, Section 28, and ministers and senior Tory MPs who voted against Labour’s bill to repeal it in 2003. 

“We still have a long way to go to achieve full equality for LGBTQ+ people, especially in relation to trans rights.”

In July 2000, May voted to maintain section 28. And she told a student newspaper in 2001 that “most parents want the comfort of knowing Section 28 is there”.

May also voted against lowering the age of consent to 16 in the late 1990s.

In 2003, 71 Conservative MPs voted against repealing section 28, including the current de-facto deputy prime minister David Lidington and Brexit Secretary David Davis.