April 21, 2013 – 4:37 am

By Ian McKellen

The official obituaries have been, as often happens, partial in both senses: sympathetic and incomplete. With regard to the divisive effect of her reign, one omission was significant and glaring: Section 28.

Lest we forget, this nasty, brutish and short measure of the third Thatcher administration, was designed to slander homosexuality, by prohibiting state schools from discussing positively gay people and our “pretended family relations”. Opposition to Section 28 galvanised a new generation of activists who joined with long-time campaigners for equality. Stonewall UK was founded, to repeal Section 28 and pluck older rotten anti-gay legislation from the constitutional tree. This has taken two decades to achieve.

Pathetically, in her dotage, Baroness Thatcher was led by her supporters into the House of Lords to vote against Section 28’s repeal: her final contribution to UK politics. She dies too early to oppose Parliament’s inevitable acceptance of same-gender marriage.

Thatcher misjudged the future when, according to her deputy chief whip, she “threw a piece of red meat (Section 28) to her right-wing wolves”. Some of these beasts survive her, albeit de-fanged. When, to take a recent example, a disgraced cardinal delivers anti-gay diatribes, the spirit of social Thatcherism is revealed as barren, hypocritical and now pointless.

Note: Sir Ian McKellen writing on his website. He is an English actor. His most notable film roles include Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and The Hobbit film trilogy, Magneto in the X-Men films, and Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code.

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Note: Ian McKellen is no stranger to $ingapore. In 2007, he commented on the island’s anti-gay laws.

Sir Ian McKellen may have agreed to keep on his underpants to avoid upsetting $ingaporeans when he performs as King Lear July 20, 2007. But when it comes to the Asian city state’s ban on homosexuality, he is naked in his displeasure.

The celebrated actor, who appears in the nude in his critically acclaimed role but was forced to cover up for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s visit to $ingapore this week, launched a withering attack yesterday on the enclave’s continuing criminalisation of gay men.

In comments that will cause discomfort for $ingaporean legislators who have sought to modify its image as a strict patrician society, the Academy Award nominee, 68, said he found the law - introduced under British colonial rule - “personally offensive”. He added: “As a gay man invited here with the full cognisance of the government, how can they not notice that my right to have sex is inhibited by the country?”

The legislators said they would not advocate changes to the law, which classifies gay sex as “gross indecency” and is punishable with up to 10 years’ imprisonment.  - Cahal Milmo writing for The Independent.

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  1. One Response to “MARGARET THATCHER 1925-2013”

  2. isn`t that dame edna?

    By denise the rat on Apr 22, 2013

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