In May 1988, the reviled law that forbade ‘promoting’ homosexuality came into force. Here, some of those who made headlines fighting back – from invading the BBC News studio to abseiling into the House of Lords – explain why they had to act
Lesbians stormed the BBC to protest about it. Twenty thousand Mancunians took to the city streets to march against it. Ian McKellen came out as gay to fight it. It inspired songs by Boy George and Chumbawamba, and an apology from David Cameron. You would be hard pressed to find a recent British law more controversial and more reviled than section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988.
In the late 80s, the gay and lesbian people of the UK were loudly demanding equality, much to the chagrin of traditionalists. Section 28 was the Conservative government’s response; Margaret Thatcher’s answer to those who believed “they have an inalienable right to be gay”.