From: 'Queer Youth Alliance'
Subject: Kent backs down over 'Section 28' policy
Date: Jan 02 2005, 12:23 AM
From The Queer Youth Alliance http://www.queeryouth.org.uk
Monday 3rd January 2005 – 9:00 London
Kent backs down over ‘Section 28’ policy
Resulting from a long, bitter and emotive campaign led by The Queer Youth Alliance over the past three years, including two rowdy protests held outside Kent County Hall, headquarters of Kent County Council in Maidstone The Queer Youth Alliance has today learned that homophobic council leader (and Chair of the Local Government Association) Sir Sandy Bruce Lockheart has backed down on his “Section 28” like Anti-Gay Policy after a full council meeting at the end of December. Sir Sandy began to worry after a fellow councilor handed him a recent copy of ‘The Gay Times’ which had covered the story in detail.
Sir Sandy has once again tactfully re-worded his ‘family value’s policy from:
Our policies state that, “the council shall not publish, purchase or distribute to children inappropriate material for any sex education, including the intentional promotion of homosexuality
Our policies are opposed to the publishing or use of any inappropriate material in sex education and any material which is unnecessarily explicit, and is also opposed to role play in sex education. We will ensure that sex education values family and marriage as the foundation of a civilised society, and a firm basis for the nurturing of children
The Queer Youth Alliance is calling a victory for Kent’s LGBT Communities, as well as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered young people all over the country who were living in fear after senior Conservative Party members including Michael Gove and Charles Hendry MP supported the notion nationwide uptake of similar local policies to ‘ban the promotion of homosexuality’ (The Pink Paper 03/12/04).
David Henry, President of The Queer Youth Alliance commented: “I am delighted to hear that Sir Sandy and his cronies have backed down in the name of equality and acceptance, however the re-wording comes at a price – I feel Kent County Council has used this as an opportunity to take a further stab with their so called moral dagger at same sex relationships by stating marriage (which inherently excludes homosexual relationships) is the only firm foundation of a so called civilized society”. The Queer Youth Alliance is cynically calling on Kent County Council to clearly explain it’s definition of the word ‘family’ with a hope that it includes all types of relationships.
“Despite the apparently enlightenment of Kent County Council and it’s supporters, This entire episode is overall, part of a much larger battle. The line has once again been drawn in attempt to undermine the validity of same sex relationships – something we are continuing to fight against across the board”. Henry concluded.
Contacts for interviews, sound bites, opinions etc:
David Henry Tel: 07788 712 755 (Manchester)
Tom Oldfield Tel: 07754 046 850 (London)
Notes for Editor:
1. The Queer Youth Alliance is the National Organisation representing and supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Young People. Details can be found on our website http://www.queeryouth.org.uk The Queer Youth Alliance, Manchester Gay and Lesbian Centre, 49-51 Sidney Street, Manchester, M1 7HB
The Queer Youth Alliance
Manchester Lesbian & Gay Centre
49 - 51 Sidney Street
Manchester, M1 7HB
The National organisation run by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Young People.
Information Line: 07092 031 086