A whistle stop tour through LGBT+ history. Here are the key points in history we believe everyone should know.

At NDML we are immensely proud of our diverse workforce and client book. We believe that through diversity comes strength, and through education comes opportunity.


The Wolfenden Committee publishes a report, recommending that ‘homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence’. Supporters of this recommendation include the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, and the British Medical Association. Despite this, the recommendations are rejected by the government.


The Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalises sex in England between two men over 21 and ‘in private’.


The Stonewall riots in America – a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, Manhattan. This key event triggers the modern LGBT liberation movement in the US and beyond.


The Nullity of Marriage Act was passed, explicitly banning same-sex marriages between same-sex couples in England and Wales.


The first Pride is held in London


The first gay and lesbian Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference takes place to discuss workplace rights.
At a Campaign for Homosexual Equality conference, Amnesty International is called upon to take up the issue of the persecution of lesbians and gay men.


Sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ is decriminalised in Scotland.


A landmark court case finds that Northern Ireland’s criminalisation of same-sex acts violates the European Convention on Human Rights. The Homosexual Offences Order decriminalises sex between two men over the age of 21 ‘in private’ in Northern Ireland.


UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, introduces Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988. The Act states 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”.

Sir Ian McKellen comes out on the UK’s BBC Radio in response to the government’s proposed Section 28 in the British Parliament.


Justin Fashanu becomes the first professional footballer to come out as gay. He later dies by suicide.


World Health Organisation declassifies same-sex attraction as a mental illness.


Trans Day of Remembrance  UK and USA to memorialise those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the trans community.

The Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Soho, is bombed by former British National Party member, David Copeland. The attack kills three people and wounds at least 70.


The UK Government lifts the ban on lesbians, gay men and bi people serving in the armed forces.


Equal rights are granted to same-sex couples applying for adoption.


Section 28 is repealed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, lifting the ban on local authorities from ‘the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality’.

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations becomes law in the UK, making it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gay and bi people in the workplace.


The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is passed, granting civil partnership in the United Kingdom. The Act gives same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married straight couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is passed giving trans people full legal recognition in their appropriate gender. The Act allows trans people to acquire a new birth certificate, although gender options are still limited to ‘male’ or ‘female’.


The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 recognises same-sex couples as legal parents of children conceived through the use of donated sperm, eggs or embryos. 


The Equality Act 2010 officially adds gender reassignment as a protected characteristic. 


Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act is passed in England and Wales.

Stonewall sends Rainbow Laces to all the professional football clubs in the UK to encourage players to show their commitment to making sport inclusive. 


Ireland votes by a huge majority to legalise same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the world to do so by a referendum.


49 people are killed and 53 people injured after a gunman opens fire in the LGBT nightclub Pulse, in Orlando. 


The UK Government announces that it will bring forward proposals to ban conversion therapy at the legislative level.


Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Northern Ireland.


The UK census includes questions on gender identity and sexual orientation for the first time, meaning that data can be gathered on the numbers of LGBT+ people across the country.

These sobering and celebratory points in history can be found in further detail at

NDML are proud of the diversity of those we represent, we wish to promote the continued education and celebration of LGBT+ history.

To learn more about us and our team, see here.