Islington councillors: don’t confine LGBT history to one month

Cllr Caroline Russell: 'It's important to celebrate Islington's LGBT heritage'

Cllr Caroline Russell: 'It's important to celebrate Islington's LGBT heritage' - Credit: Archant

Islington Council wants lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history to become part of the school curriculum.

LGBT history month is currently celebrated every February.

But at last night’s town hall meeting of the council, members agreed to consult with schools about age-appropriate teaching all year round - in a stand “for all people who are discriminated against”.

The council agreed a similar course of action for black history month in October.

And Green Cllr Caroline Russell, the sole oppostion representative of the Labour-controlled authority, said after the meeting: “It makes absolute sense for LGBT history to also not be confined to one month.”

The Highbury East member added: “We have an incredible heritage of people making a big difference to LGBT life in Islington.

“In Highbury Fields we had the first ever Stonewall march in the early 1970s. In Islington, there is the third hightest number of same-sex couples of all London boroughs, so there will be children in our schools who grow up with same-sex parents.

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“It’s really important to celebreate this. Knowing schools will be mindful of LGBT history throughout the year, rather than just box ticking for one month, we will support diversity among young people.”

Cllr Nick Ward, for St George’s, moved Labour’s amended version of Cllr Russell’s motion, and said: “Make no mistake, friends. Across the world people like me and many members of this chamber are harassed, discriminated against and tragically murdered. This is why we welcome Cllr Russell’s motion.

“I would make one plea: do not become complacent. We have made significant gains in LGBT rights but we are far from there.

“The battle for our rights will never be complete while we live in a society where women still earn significantly less than men; where black people are harassed due to the colour of their skin; or disabled people are barred from the workplace.

“We stand for not just LGBT people but for all people who are discriminated against.”

The motion comes after homophopic crime in London increased by 21 per cent in the last year.

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