Monday, November 17, 2003

Say what you like about this Labour government but for whatever reason, their track record on gay equality has been good - the removal of the ban on gay people in the armed forces, the equalisation of the age of consent to 16 and now, the last day of Clause 28. Clause 28 was a particularly spiteful bit of legislation introduced in the late 1980s by Maggie's conservatives which intended to prevent the "promotion of homosexuality by local education authorities". It was a badly worded and homophobic law and backfired on the conservatives quite badly by providing a focus around which gay rights activists could organise themselves and unite.

Scotland dumped the clause a couple of years ago - despite millionairre Brian Souter's "Keep The Clause" campaign. Souter financed a huge vote across Scotland, although received a very low number of actual responses and missed out large numbers of the population because he was relying on an out-of-date electoral register - a lot of his own money down the drain that could have been put to much better use if donated to a children's charity. Souter's "Keep the Clause" website was one which I parodied with my own "Kill the Clause" site. Souter's site also backfired somewhat in that its messageboards became over-run with insane homophobic bigots who threatened violence to people (one guy actually lost his job over his postings) and revealed many of the Keep the Clause supporters to be TOTAL PSYCHOS. The site eventually had to be closed down because it got out of control and became a disgrace to the people who were running it.

Poor old dead Baroness Young and Lord Longford (two of the craziest homophobes in the House of Lords) will be turning in theirs graves tomorrow when the Clause is finally consigned to the scrap heap (except in Kent where they've drafted their own version of it). Still, after tomorrow, the UK will be a better place. Seeya Clause, don't wanna be ya.

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