Watch Love, Simon on All 4, before it’s removed later this week! It’s coming-of-age, coming-out comedy starring Nick Robinson as a teenager whose well-kept secret about his sexuality is threatened by a classmate who starts blackmailing him.
On Tuesday, 6 October 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student from the University of Wyoming, was brutally beaten and pistol whipped as a result of an anti-gay attack and robbery. Matthew was tied to a fence and left to die, only to be discovered by a bicyclist the next day. On Monday, 12 October, as a result of the injuries from the attack, Matthew passed away.
I am sure, most of you will know, by now it’s LGBT History Month here in the UK!
Here is a mini timeline of LGBT history in the United Kingdom, since I was born.
In that time, we’re come a long, long way… But still got a, long way to go!
1980 – The Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 decriminalized homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age “in private” in Scotland.
1987 – Clause 28 is introduced into the local government bill by Dame Jill Knight, Conservative MP for Birmingham Edgbaston
1988 – Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 enacted as an amendment to the United Kingdom’s Local Government Act 1986, on 24 May 1988 stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
1989 – The campaign group Stonewall UK is set up to oppose Section 28 and other barriers to equality.
1994 – The Conservative Member of Parliament Edwina Currie introduced an amendment to lower the age of consent for homosexual acts, from 21 to 16 in line with that for heterosexual acts. The vote was defeated and the gay male age of consent was instead lowered to 18.
1999 – In May, the Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Soho was bombed by former British National Party member David Copeland, killing three people and wounding at least 70.
2000 – The Labour government introduces legislation to repeal Section 28 in England and Wales – Conservative MPs oppose the move. Scotland abolished Clause 2a (Section 28) of the Local Government Act in October though it remains in place in England and Wales.
2001 – The provisions of the Act came into force throughout the United Kingdom on 8 January 2001, lowering the age of consent to 16.
2003 – Section 28, which banned councils and schools from intentionally promoting homosexuality, is repealed in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Employment Equality Regulations made it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gays or bisexuals at work.
2004 – The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is passed by the Labour Government, giving same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
2014 – Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England and Wales on the 29th of March under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.