Welcome to our WWLW, this week we are giving a shout out to Stonewall, a UK based charity that supports the LGB community. Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of people who had been active in the struggle against Section 28 of the Local Government Act, an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools.
The legislation was:
Section 28: of the Local Government Act 1988 caused controversy with the addition of Section 2A stating 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"
Stonewalls aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexuals from occurring in schools and work places. Stonewall has 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. With a growing presence, they are certianly a charity making an impact. We first found out about Stonewall at our first gay pride event and have proudly displayed their signature t-shirts.
Stonewall is best known for its campaigning and lobbying. Its current campaign for Equal Marriage is literally hitting the streets in the form of bus adverts all over London with 1000 big red buses adorned with their recognisible tag line ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’. From our office in Victoria we can see them flying past - so far 10 in a hour is the most! What great publicity! And a great photo opportunity.
In May they are organising the ‘Brighton Stonewall Walk’ for the 9th year, to help tackle homophobia in schools. During the last six years, they have worked with secondary schools to prevent homophobic bullying. Its Education for All campaign, launched in January 2005 to help tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools, works with a wide coalition of groups. Stonewall has extended its Education for All campaign to all 21,000 primary schools across the Great Britain by producing a teacher training DVD, Celebrating Difference. The more money they raise the more DVD’s they send out!
Stonewall has formed partnerships with organisations outside Parliament to ensure the rights and needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are addressed in the wider community. They has also raised public awareness in terms of civil partnership, through their Get Hitched guide (HERE), and on the changes to the employment regulations relating to sexual orientation through guides for both employers and employees.
Stonewall hosted the London Gay Mayoral Hustings on 14 April - it allowed the capital’s lesbian, gay and bisexual voters to ask candidates from the four main parties in London about their policies before the mayoral election on 3 May. The Hustings were attended by Boris Johnson, Jenny Jones, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick. Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill made this comment following the Stonewall London Gay Hustings:
‘It’s really impressive that all of the main mayoral candidates wanted to engage lesbian, gay and bisexual Londoners – something that would have been unthinkable 15 or 20 years ago. What was particularly interesting was that many of the people in the audience were completely undecided about how they were going to vote, so clearly no-one should take London’s 350,000 gay voters for granted.’
|London Mayoral Hustings 2012|
Stonewall is officially a Charity but receives no public funding and raises all its money itself in a range of ways including donations, sponsorship, and fundraising events. You will see them rattling buckets at every Pride running UK wide.
|London Pride 2011 - Stonewall group!|
Click here to find out how you can help Stonewall:
Stonewall is a great charity that we actively support and look forward to taking part in their future initiatives!
We hope you've enjoyed this weeks WWLW! If you want to check out more about Stonewall there website is: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/
Sarah and Laura