Section 28 was an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in schools; as well as stigmatising lesbian, gay and bi people it galvanised the LGBT community.
The aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent such attacks on lesbians, gay and bi people from ever occurring again. Stonewall has subsequently put the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda by winning support within all the main political parties and now has offices in England, Scotland and Wales.
Campaigning and lobbying
Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying. Some major successes include helping achieve the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military, securing legislation which allowed same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. More recently Stonewall has helped secure civil partnerships and then same-sex marriage, and ensured that the recent Equality Act protected lesbian, gay and bi people in terms of goods and services.
In 2015, and following a six month consultation with trans communities, Stonewall became trans inclusive. You can learn more about Stonewall and trans by reading our report ‘Trans People and Stonewall’.
On 23 September 2003 we were granted charitable status (Charity Registration Number 1101255).
Stonewall receives no core government funding and funds are instead raised in a variety of ways including donations, sponsorship and fundraising events.
Stonewall is a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of national organisations committed to progress on age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation issues.
To empower individuals
Individuals make change happen. We will support individuals to work out how they can make a difference for LGBT people at work, home and in their communities. We will equip people with the tools and confidence to connect with, influence and enable others in their communities, by challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, celebrating difference and improving inclusion and visibility of role models. We will empower people of all ages and backgrounds to be role models and allies wherever they live, work, shop, socialise and pray. We will support them, and the people they reach, to be themselves and achieve their full potential.
We will value all the individuals we work with, and we will share our expertise but also learn from them and their experiences.
To transform institutions
Institutions have power and influence. We will reach more people and have a greater impact by transforming institutions and by embedding an inclusive and accepting culture. We will work with all organisations, including workplaces, schools, healthcare providers, sports clubs and religious institutions, here and abroad, to ensure they offer inclusive, equal and inspiring environments for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.
We will also work with institutions to enable them to understand the huge benefits that lesbian, gay, bi and trans people can bring to an organisation. A different set of experiences and perspectives can help organisations to flourish. We will help institutions to recognise the value of these different perspectives, and the benefits they bring all employees, service users and members of the community.
To change hearts and minds
We will go deeper into our communities than ever before to reach people who we may not have had a relationship with in the past, including people from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as rural communities. We will work with these communities, and partners and allies close to these communities, to demonstrate the strengths that our differences can bring, and to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.
We will work to ensure that LGBT role models and allies are visible throughout public life in order to create an environment that enables all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to participate fully in society. In order to achieve a world where everyone, everywhere, is free to be themselves, we will work together, as diverse LGBT communities, and with our wider communities, to change and win hearts and minds.
To change laws
We will continue to campaign and lobby government to change laws that do not ensure equality for LGBT people, or laws that do not go far enough. Despite good progress for lesbian, gay and bisexual people under the law, trans people still do not have the right legal framework to enable them to be themselves. We will fight to ensure that the laws affecting trans people are reviewed and reformed in the next government. We will work alongside the government to ensure they are not complacent about the rights of lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, and to ensure everyone, everywhere is free to be themselves.
SIR IAN MCKELLAN SAYS’
“Without Stonewall, change could never have happened so rapidly and so peacefully. The revolution won’t be complete, until equality is accepted at home, at school, at work and in the streets. So we must continue to support Stonewall’s essential initiatives, knowing right is on our side.
Nothing in life is more important to me than helping young people realise that there are better days ahead of them. I’m proud that Stonewall – which I helped create to tackle legalised homophobia – is now leading the fight in those British schools where homophobic bullying ruins far too many young people’s lives. It’s a privilege to play a small part in bringing it to an end.”
We’re here to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, here and abroad, know they’re not alone.
We believe we’re stronger united, so we partner with organisations that help us create real change for the better. We have laid deep foundations across Britain – in some of our greatest institutions – so our communities can continue to find ways to flourish, and individuals can reach their full potential. We’re here to support those who can’t yet be themselves.
But our work is not finished yet. Not until everyone feels free to be who they are, wherever they are.