In 1988, the then Government introduced Section 28 of the Local Government Act which prevented local authorities from promoting homosexuality or allowing it to be taught in schools as acceptable, as a ‘pretended family relationship’.
Many LGB&T support groups in schools and colleges across the country closed down in fear of breaking the law. Literature supporting gay people was removed. Protests from the community, as well as pro-LGB&T supporters, were wide-scale.
To show support to the LGB&T community in Suffolk, we set up a Gay and Lesbian helpline in the same year, which, in 2010, became the Suffolk LGB&T Network.
As well as providing a vital lifeline to the LGB&T community since the Eighties, the Network works towards the following aims:
To relieve the mental and physical distress of persons suffering from discrimination, criminal persecution or other harassment on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity by the provision of information, counselling and support for such persons. To promote the prevention of crime, support victims of hate crime and domestic violence and to promote good public health. To develop the capacity and skills of the members of the socially disadvantaged LGB&T community of Suffolk in such a way that they are better able to identify, and help meet, their needs and to participate more fully in society. To promote equality and diversity for the public benefit by the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and gender identity, advancing education and raising awareness of equality and diversity, promoting activities to foster understanding between people from diverse backgrounds and cultivating a sentiment in favour of equality and diversity.
We meet these aims through managing a range of communication channels, promoting a helpline service, hosting events throughout the year and offering training to organisations and individuals….and much more!
To help us continue to deliver vital services in Suffolk to over 35,000 LGB&T people, please donate what you can afford to give. Become a member or perhaps try Volunteering with us?