Founding Stonewall


Duncan came out in 1987. He subsequently wrote on issues of equality, and about the circumstances of the Aids epidemic of the era.  In 1988, Duncan  was one of the six original founders of the human rights and equality group Stonewall, along with actors Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Cashman.

Below you can find copies of the original Stonewall documents and press releases.

Draft declaration calling for a new equality campaign

Prepared by the Stonewall founding group in September 1988

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Original Stonewall Founding Declaration

Signed by Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman, Duncan Campbell, Dr Peter Rivas, Douglas Slater and Simon Fanshawe in September 1988.  It was later dubbed the "Second Limehoue declaration  

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Stonewall launches


By April 1989, the Stonewall Group had expanded to 14 (6 women and 8 men).  This notice announced the launch of the group to the lesbian and gay press.

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"Financing the long-term defence of lesbian and gay culture"

Analysis by Paul Dickinson of financial needs for setting up a long term campaigning equality organisation. (3 November 1988)

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"Re-reading Duncan's paper, it strikes me that the main thing that is necessary for a  successful defence of our culture is money. Once it becomes law, Section 28 will lead to a cash crisis for a number of lesbian and gay organisations that depend on local government funds."  

Politics of the Achievable: Stonewall's first manifesto

Stonewall's planned structure and ambitions for an equality campaign were first drafted on 15 October 1988.  

Stonewall's first targets were defensive; far more was achieved in the first 15 years, by 2004 than any of the founders believed possible when they creaetd Stonewall.

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Stonewall announces first executive director

After incorporating in August 1989, the Stonewall Group appointed Tim Barnett as its first Executive Director. (18 August 1989)

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The Iris Trust

The Iris Trust was planned at the same time the name Stonewall was selected, in homage to the start of the modern gay rights movement after the Stonewall riots in 1968

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"An ode to Limehouse", by Simon Fanshawe

Memoir of founding Stonewall published by The Guardian, 27 January 2006.

"The first draft of our intentions was headed "The Politics of the Achievable". "There are three phases to political campaigning" we wrote. "The first is action on the streets. ..."

We committed ourselves to legislative and social equality, and although we set no end date, most of us have been staggered at the speed of our progress."

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Stonewall Group meets before launch, April 1989


Planning the final steps to incorporate the Stonewall Group as a company and to register the linked charity the Iris Trust.   And why it could not originally be called just "Stonewall".  

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The day we had to act -

"A sense of alarm"

In January 1988, the publication of Clause 28 the Thatcher government's Local Government Bill provoked alarm and anger.  It took 25 years to undo the harm in England and Wales, so as to give gay and lesbuan kids a fair chance.   The first step was a full page

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Angela Mason appointed as Stonewall director

From Diva Magazine, June 1994 

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Stonewall's website

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Stonewall is now the largest lesbian and gay equality organisation in Europe, employing 75 staff and with a budget of £4 million.   Ruth Hunt was appointed Stonewall's Chief Executive in July 2014.