Brief overview of Stonewall

Brief overview of Stonewall

Stonewall was founded in 1989 by a small group of women and men who had been active in the struggle against  Section 28 of the Local Government Act.

Section 28 was an offensive piece of legislation designed to prevent the so-called 'promotion' of homosexuality in schools; as well as stigmatising lesbian, gay and bisexual people it also galvanised the LGBT community.

The aim from the outset was to create a professional lobbying group that would prevent such attacks on lesbians, gay men and bisexual people from ever occurring again. Stonewall has subsequently put the case for equality on the mainstream political agenda by winning support within all the main political parties and now has offices in England, Scotland and Wales.

Stonewall is renowned for its campaigning and lobbying.  Some major successes include helping achieve the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military, securing legislation allowing same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. More recently Stonewall has helped secure civil partnerships and then equal marriage and ensured the recent Equality Act protected lesbian, gay and bisexual people in terms of goods and services.

Stonewall has an almost unique framework for a campaigning organisation in that individual stakeholders and donors are not ‘members’. This was part of the organisation’s original vision, in order to protect our capacity to be nimble both politically and operationally. Our Chief Executive has said: “We are not a ‘democratic’ organisation, in that we would never be satisfied to think that a position we took was based on the views of 51% of gay people, while 49% did not agree. We seek to develop all our work, and policy positions where appropriate, by building as wide a consensus as possible among lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

Stonewall also works with a whole range of agencies to address the needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people in the wider community. Our Diversity Champions programme offers advice and support to over 650 organisations including IBM, Barclays, Barnardo's, DCLG and the Royal Navy.

Stonewall's Education for All campaign, launched in January 2005, helps tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools and works with a wide coalition of groups.

More recently Stonewall has formed partnerships with organisations outside Parliament to ensure the rights and needs of lesbians, gay men and bisexual people are addressed in the wider community.

Stonewall has also raised public awareness in terms of civil partnership, through our Get Hitched guide, and on the changes to the employment regulations relating to sexual orientation through guides for both employers and employees.

In addition Stonewall promotes new research on issues such as hate crime, lesbian health and homophobic bullying in schools.

Our offices in Scotland and Wales further our work across a range of activities and work alongside local projects to develop LGB communities.

On 23 September 2003 we were granted charitable status (Charity Registration Number 1101255).

Alongside this expansion, our highly professional staff team has grown and is sustained by a committed band of dedicated volunteers and thousands of individuals the length and breadth of the UK.

Stonewall receives no public funding and raises all its money itself in a range of ways including donations,  sponsorship, and fundraising events.

Click here to find out how you can help Stonewall.

Stonewall is a member of the Equality and Diversity Forum, a network of national organisations committed to progress on age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation issues.


The trading name of Stonewall is Stonewall Equality Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 02412299.
Registered address Tower Building, York Road, London SE1 7NX.
Telephone: 020 7593 1850
VAT number 862906405

Discrimination Project

I think this is a very good charity, well done on all your good work :)

Lucy , 07 January 2011

Researching Civil Partnership

Very Informative - thank you and well one - keep up the good work

Em, 21 December 2009

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