At this year’s Tory Party conference in Manchester, the LGBT Conservatives group was ironically placed in section 28.
In 1988, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government introduced Section 28 – a series of laws that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality”.
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 any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
It was in effect until 21 June 2000 in Scotland and 18 November 2003 in England and Wales.
Placing the LGBT Conservatives group in section 28 of the Conservative Party conference, held from 3-6 October, was therefore an interesting choice – especially given that there were 91 spaces available.
“As a backbencher, Boris broke the whip to vote in favour of repealing Section 28. As mayor of London he supported same-sex marriage,” she added during her speech at an LGBTQ+ reception at the conference.
In a 1998 magazine article, the current Prime Minister described gay men as “tank-topped bum boys”.
In her speech, Mrs Johnson continued: “Whether you are LGBT+ or an ally like me, we are all committed to equality and acceptance for everyone, whoever you are and whomever you love.
“There are still those that will tell you that being LGBT+ and a Tory is somehow incompatible.
“Well, looking around the room tonight we can see that is blatantly untrue.
“The idea that your sexual orientation or your gender identity should determine your politics is now as illogical as saying your height or your hair colour should.”
Here’s how people reacted to the LGBT Conservatives group being placed in section 28 at the conference:
Sorry but is this a sick joke that at party conference Tories have put the @LGBTCons in booth number 28, wow 😱#section28 which was devastating legislation for all our community in the UK
Also Liz Truss needs to actually be held accountable to that pledge as so far big fail. pic.twitter.com/GiVzIUsUFi
— Dr Amy Roberts (@drAR387) October 5, 2021
A stall on their 'pledge' to gay rights. In Section 28. Not a photoshop. I give up. pic.twitter.com/CSXM5iU8jp
— sofia BOOtella’s terf bangs 👻 (@neverthetories) October 6, 2021
Have Tories intentionally put their LGBT stand in section 28 for intentional search engine result manipulation? because the newest web references to "conservatives section 28" will all be photos of Tories holding LGBT Ally signs at that stall? Very clever tactic if true 👀 #CPC21 pic.twitter.com/zoAamp1sJP
— Stephen JBL 🇬🇧🦆🏰🪴✨ (@StephenJBL) October 6, 2021
The fact that none thought “maybe we shouldn’t put LGBT Conservatives in stall (section) number 28” … https://t.co/QqvRcevO88
— Tom Peach 🌈📖 (@ThomasPeachLib) October 6, 2021
The group "LGBT+ conservatives" were apparently given stand no. 28 at the conservative party conference, oh dear https://t.co/7KioHP9PHk
— Evelyn fra den øya✴⬡✴🦎 (@ulvniya) October 6, 2021
Slightly unfortunate putting the LGBT Conservatives in Section 28. pic.twitter.com/OpsESvm82A
— Chris Thompson (@lechris_t) October 6, 2021
— Kevin #NotKev 🏳️🌈🇪🇺🇬🇧 #NeverTrustATory (@polbikers) October 7, 2021
Genuinely still baffled there are LGBT Conservatives tbh. I wonder how many of the people in the venue actually voted for S28, or against its repeal. https://t.co/yA53tLWwZy
— Paul Holmes (@DidymusBrush) October 6, 2021
From the LGBT Conservatives stall being in (section) 28, Dominic Rabb not knowing what misogyny is and the PM being who he is, you can’t tell me these aren’t scenes from the Thick Of It.
— Marshall (@MarshallGradyT) October 6, 2021