âNevertheless, I donât rejoice in her death,â Peter Tatchell says. âI commiserate, as I do with the death of any person. In contrast, she showed no empathy for the victims of her harsh, ruthless policy decisions.
âDuring her rule, arrests and convictions for consenting same-sex behaviour rocketed, as did queer bashing violence and murder. Gay men were widely demonized and scapegoated for the AIDS pandemic and Thatcher did nothing to challenge this vilification.â
Thatcher supported legalising homosexuality in the 1960s, as Pink News puts it, âin the face of fierce opposition from Tory traditionalistsâ.
In 1967, she voted in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, in England and Wales. While she was Prime Minister, it was made legal to be legal to be gay in Scotland in 1981 and in Northern Ireland in 1982.
However, she also legalised anti-gay law Section 28, which stated 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".
Thatcher then attacked âpositive imagesâ of gay people, saying during a speech on Section 28 that she worried: âChildren are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay.â
Section 28 was repealed in 2003, and in 2009, David Cameron apologised on behalf of the party, saying it was âa mistakeâ to introduce the legislation.
Blogger and gay rights activist Dan Savage is actually grateful the law was brought in, because of the backlash it created.
âI was living in Londonâwaiting tables, seeing plays, stealing silver, pining after British boysâwhen Section 28 was being debated.
âThe law prompted Ian McKellen to come out of the closet and it prompted some righteous lesbian parents to tag Thatcher billboard with âLesbians Mums Aren't Pretendingâ.
âComing at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Section 28 instilled panic. It felt like this law might the first of many anti-gay laws to come. Instead Section 28 was the beginning of the end for political homophobia in the UK.
âBecause McKellen wasn't the only gay person to come out in protest. And you know what happens when gay people come out.
âSo thanks for that, Maggie.â
Thatcher died from a stroke. She was 87.