Film maker Nick Lansley writes:
"Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 caused the controversial addition of an amendment that stated 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".
Although I had graduated form Leicester Polytechnic the year before and started work in the south east of England, I often returned to the many friends I had made in Leicester. So I was happy to participate in their affirmative rallying action. When they attended this Manchester rally, I was happy to take part and film Manchester's response to the forthcoming Section 28 enactment.
This movie documents that rally, which took place in March 1988 in the gardens outside Manchester Town Hall at Albert Square,and later on at the Free Trade Hall.
In this video, look out for:
00:00 - 09:50 - Rally in Manchester by 20,500 people on the streets.
05:30 - A sense of the size of the rally crowd!
09:53 - Speech by Leader of Manchester City Council
12:14 - Tom Robinson speaks and sings 'Glad To Be Gay'
15:52 - Speech by Ian McKellan (actor and now Sir!)
17:20 - Speech by Michael Cashman (who at the time played gay Colin in Eastenders)
20:10 - Speech by actors Steve Parry and Sue Johnston from C4's 'Brookside'
22:13 - Inside the M.E.N Arena to join Michael Cashman
26:20 - Reprise by Sue Johnston (who played 'Sheila Grant' in Brookside)
27:50 - Tom Robinson plays and sings 'Have You Read The News Today'
31:26 - Speech and verse from Tom Robinson
35:30 - Tom reprises 'Glad To Be Gay'
39:45 - Hazell Dean sings her pop hit 'Who's Leaving Who?'
41:15 - Jimmy Somerville sings the Communards hit "There's More To Love Than Boy Meets Girl"
43:17 - Music from a-capella group The Hot Doris Band
48:45 - Speech and acting excellence from Ian McKellan
58:22 - Michael Cashman salutes Ian McKellan saying (at 58:48) "When a great man (or a great woman) gives up enoblement for the benefit of his humanity and the humanity of others, then he lives. Ian McKellan!". It was thought that by attending this rally, McKellan had destroyed any hope of being knighted for his work as an actor. Fortunately he was knighted in 1991."
The rally is seen a turning point in Manchester's LGBT history.
There follows an excerpt from a Queer Noise interview with a march attendee, 2015
“In the early 80s Anderton had succeeded in dividing and conquering the community. Everything was very tucked away. Men and women socialised quite separately.
Then the Anti-Clause 28 rally happened. It was the starting point of what became ‘Gaychester’. Men and women at last came together to set that up.
There was such a coming together of different groups. For the first time in Manchester being gay and being visible was a really positive thing.”
Artefact added : 23rd February 2016