Janet Mary Baker Young, Baroness
Young (23 October 1926 – 6 September 2002), was a British Conservative politician.
- Note that there are two other British life peers with
similar titles: Barbara Scott
Young, Baroness Young of Old Scone; and Lola Young, Baroness Young
She served as the first ever
female Leader of the House
from 1981 to 1983, first as Chancellor of the Duchy of
and from 1982 as Lord
. She was the only woman ever appointed to the
Cabinet by Margaret
She became a councillor for Oxford
in 1957 and was leader by 1967. Not long after she was
made a peer on the advice of Edward
Heath, as Baroness Young, of Farnworth in the County Palatine of Lancaster. As the Lady Young she was appointed Leader of
the House of
Lords, and sat on the boards of large corporations such
as NatWest and Marks and Spencer.
In later life she was mainly known for her staunch opposition to
. She worked to try to stop
legislation going through that would allow unmarried couples
(including gay men and women) to adopt children, and also led
campaigns in the House of Lords to prevent equalisation of the
age of consent
men with that of heterosexuals
, and also fought the repeal of
. She was ultimately defeated
on all counts. Although she managed to delay the repeal of Section
28 in England and Wales in 2000, Section 28 was finally removed
from the statute book in 2003.
She died at the age of 75 following a long battle with cancer.
Following her death, gay rights
campaigner Peter Tatchell
that she had "poisoned society with prejudice and
and that "future historians will rank her
alongside the defenders of apartheid. She supported
homophobic discrimination to the last."
But Tim Montgomerie,
then Chairman of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, said that
"Baroness Young led a life of great service to Christian causes.
She defended marriage and the family against an onslaught of
damaging legislation in recent years. Unlike many of today's
politicians and churchleaders, she refused to accept that the
breakdown of the family was inevitable and she invested every
effort into standing up for the interests of vulnerable children.
If only more Christians followed her example and sought political
office, the country would, perhaps, not face the same difficulties
that it does. She will be sadly missed..."
-  Independent - 7th Sept 2002
-  Christian Institute, a tribute