Stonewall: LGBT charity marks 30 years fighting for equality

Last updated at 08:22
Holding hands in front of rainbow flagGetty Images

Stonewall is celebrating 30 years campaigning for equal rights for the LGBT community.

The charity was founded in 1989 to fight for gay and lesbian rights and now campaigns for the transgender people too.

Why is it called Stonewall?

Stonewall is named after the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village, New York, in the US.

In the 1960s being gay was classified as a mental illness in America, and gay people were subject to frequent victimisation from police and were shunned and abused by many in society.

Meanwhile, in the UK, being gay was a crime until 1967.

Stonewall Inn, New YorkGetty Images
The Stonewall Inn was the site of protesting and riots in June 1969

A police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a bar in a gay area of New York in June 1969, triggered a week of rioting and violent protest by many in the gay community. They were sick of being victimised and harassed and fought back against the police.

The raid on the Stonewall was the tipping point. It was a key moment in gay rights history and kicked off a movement to fight for equality.

The news sparked the founding of protest groups elsewhere around the world. It's how Stonewall, the UK charity, got its name.

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WATCH: It was a 'very lonely' life when being gay was illegal

What was Section 28 and what has it got to do with Stonewall?

A law called Section 28 was introduced in 1988 which stated that teachers in Britain were not allowed to 'promote' gay relationships in schools. Many people argued that this prevented teachers from talking about gay relationships and discriminated against lesbian, gay and bi people.

They argued the law promoted homophobia.

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What is homophobia?

Stonewall was founded in the UK in 1989 by a group of people who wanted to get Section 28 scrapped and to fight for equal rights for the LGBT community.

It took 15 years - until 2003 - for Section 28 to be overturned.

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