Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/443/5261
National LGBT meeting
Preparing for Europride
The Socialist Party LGBT caucus met on the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS. Members from around England and Wales, almost half of them youth or students, met to discuss Marxism, religion and LGBT rights and priorities for campaigning over the summer.
Tom Penman Leicester
Lynn Walsh introduced the first discussion on the resurgence of religious ideas and described how the ruling class uses religion, both as a way of dividing the working class and as a way of justifying their own actions.
For example, the US government has used religious language and ideas to justify its actions in the Middle East, at one point George W. Bush even described it as a 'crusade'.
As socialists we support the democratic right of people to follow and practise any religion (as long as it does not harm the rights of others), or none at all, and the right to criticise religion. However, we also support the complete separation of church and state.
Marc Vallee introduced the organisational session and began with a brief overview of our party's proud history on LGBT rights - how we had intervened into Pride marches in the past and how the plans for Europride were shaping up.
During the discussion members raised points about issues they thought needed dealing with, including continuing the youth campaign against homophobic bullying and opposing the commercialisation of Pride events.
BA are sponsoring Europride and have stated that LGBT people are an 'affluent group', adding to the stereotype that all LGBT people are wealthy and middle class - apparently working-class LGBT people don't exist! After the discussion, the LGBT caucus steering group was elected.
In The Socialist 8 June 2006: