Section 28 UK's "Gay Propaganda" School Rule Reappears

Yesterday Pink News ran what basically amounted to a rewrite of story by the Barnsley Chronicle about admittance questions being asked 16 year olds by a local school. Some of the students were reportedly in tears after being asked, somewhat offhandedly, if they were LGBT in a section that included questions about ethnicity, age and the like. One person commented asking if Pink News fact checked the Chronicle.

The Barnsley college online application equality and diversity statement:


Barnsley College’s Single Equality scheme covers all aspects of College life. It aims to ensure equality of opportunity for all members of the college and provide an environment in which individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It aims to ensure that all members of the college community irrespective of disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion & belief, sex, sexual orientation, or age, are able to fully take part on an equal basis in work, education, training and any other aspect of college life. Barnsley College will challenge any discrimination which denies equal status and value to any member of its community.
Barnsley College is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all learners. The College has a Safeguarding Scheme which outlines how we will do our best to make sure that everyone who is part of the College community is safe and well whilst at College.

So whats the big deal? This seems fairly innocuous and well meaning? We have been working for that sort of information gathering in the states for some time now.

It turns out in the UK it is a big deal. There is a huge fear of a return to a darker day of Section 28, the UK's Version of Russia's "Gay Propaganda" laws.

Source Wiki: "Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 caused the controversial addition of Section 2A to the Local Government Act 1986 (affectingEnglandWales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland), enacted on 24 May 1988. The amendment stated that a local authority "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in anymaintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship" It was repealed on 21 June 2000 in Scotland as one of the first pieces of legislation enacted by the new Scottish Parliament, and on 18 November 2003 in the rest of Great Britain by section 122 of the Local Government Act 2003."

"As it did not create a criminal offence, no prosecution was ever brought under this provision, but its existence caused many groups to close or limit their activities or self-censor. For example, a number of lesbiangay and bisexual student support groups in schools and colleges across Britain were closed owing to fears by council legal staff that they could breach the Act."

The UK Goverment is looking into the schools that have re instituted section 28.

The British Humanist Society identified 45 schools that continued to have section 28 like policies. After the society confronted these schools, they say many  have removed section 28 like language but there apparently remains some schools who have refused to do so.

So who are the worst offenders?

Benali Hamdach of London, United Kingdom is petitioning for the removal of section 28 like language from these institutions:

Mrs R Robinson, BA, Headteacher of Swindon Academy, Mr A Perry, Headteacher of Colston Girl's School, Peter Mulholland, Principal of WHGS Academy, Frank McCarron, Principal of Stockport Academy E-ACT, Executive Principal Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education.

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