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Margaret Thatcher's Anti-Gay 1987 Speech: VIDEO


In the wake of Margaret Thatcher's death earlier this month, video has emerged online of a speech she gave at a Conservative Party Conference in October 1987, the year before her government introduced Section 28 legislation which forbid teaching in any school that homosexual relationships were acceptable.

Says Thatcher in the clip:

"But it's the plight of individual boys and girls that worries me the most. Too often, our children don't get the education they need, the education they deserve....Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay....All of those children are being cheated of a sound start in life. Yes, cheated."


The full transcript of the speech is here.

(h/t huffpost)

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  1. Wow, quite a lot of insight here so far. I can't tell if these responses are a lot of British, over-sixty, revisionists or all three. As an American over sixty, with a small professional engagement in Anglo-American affairs, I think it's just plain hard sometimes to speak seriously about an aged aspect of any politician's life. She will have to await the usual time it takes to scrape away the usual tarnish for historians to review her effect.
    This speech, I'm glad to say, bears out the maxim rhat parents should opinionate only about their own. She did not have very nice or successful children, and she has discovered she has some very dear gay relatives. This in no way clears her policies, underwritten by the sane family still on that throne, and a President whose awful acts, ommissions and speeches are being resurrected. Revisionism takes time.

    Posted by: Chevytexas | Apr 13, 2013 7:41:38 PM

  2. Even Thatcher-worshipping Sully concedes these remarks are "indefensible."

    He then defends them by pointing out it was 1987, and she got lots better over time, and she was actually almost decent to a couple of individual gay and lesbian persons she encountered, at least according to an anecdote Sully heard.

    Posted by: SC David | Apr 13, 2013 9:02:35 PM

  3. It was 1987. What do you expect? Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1967 by an act of Parliament under a Labour government, many years after the Wolfenden Report. To be fair, she was one of the few MP's in her party who voted for the bill. Her kind of attitude was typical of her time, quite common even among Labour party members.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 13, 2013 10:43:01 PM

  4. The fact it was 1987 was no excuse. People were dying and not just from AIDS but from homophobic violence and suicide. The woman could have been kind. But she had no humanity. She was our Ayn Rand. She was a divisive force who destroyed communities and increased inequality. She passed Clause28 and subjected a generation of children to ignorance and shame, needlessly, and when they needed help most. I will never forgive her for what she did to my country.

    Posted by: Betty Treacle | Apr 14, 2013 3:56:45 AM

  5. She was nothing more than an actress... much the same way that Reagan was an actor. She was a vile piece of excrement. It's now plain for all to see.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Apr 14, 2013 12:51:04 PM

  6. She is dead, so is Reagan, two of a kind !
    Let's clear the slate and get on with the real world.
    There are still battles to be won !

    Posted by: EJC | Apr 14, 2013 4:56:54 PM

  7. Still glad she is dead...

    Posted by: JD | Apr 14, 2013 7:13:55 PM

  8. Andy:

    Here you go again. This is another example of your fascination with decade-old statements that politicians made about gays or lesbians. Perhaps you do this because you think that the most astute of the Towleroad audience will post. (I doubt it.) Or maybe your motives are less sincere.

    Why not discuss a more recent example, like DOMA? This abhorrent law, which was enacted in 1996, passed by 85 votes in the Senate and 342 votes in the House. (150 yes votes were by Democrats) Why don’t you quote some of the floor debates? When you examine history, you can find truly reprehensible statements about gays and lesbians that were made by both conservatives and liberals.

    Posted by: James | Apr 14, 2013 7:53:01 PM

  9. Lipstick on a pig.

    Posted by: greg | Apr 14, 2013 10:30:53 PM

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