Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/359/5910
Stop bullying and discrimination
TENS OF thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people from across Britain and internationally will come to Europride in Manchester.
Europride happening shows the gains that have been made, especially in making homophobia less acceptable. However, to listen to some groups - like Stonewall - you might get the impression that liberation has arrived. Unfortunately it hasn't, and despite gains that can be made - while divisive capitalism dominates people's lives - it won't.
One expert estimates that: "There could be as many as 46,000 young people being bullied for their sexual orientation in secondary schools". 'Gay' is a standard term of abuse in schools.
We stand for raising awareness in schools by pupils and teachers without fear of reactionary government or council legislation, and proper education about all forms of relationships.
Sting in the tail
The government, bowing to years of pressure and to bring legislation into line with European Union law, made welcome though limited reforms on civil partnerships and workplace discrimination. But as always there's a sting in the tail.
The civil partnership bill sanctifies marriage, discriminating against unmarried couples, gay or straight. In the workplace, faith-based organisations claiming a religious 'ethos' can legally discriminate against LGBT workers!
It seems like there's an endless hill to climb before liberation can be reached. At root there's one problem - the capitalist system.
Based on divisions, capitalism generates homophobia and other prejudices. Power concentrated in the hands of an elite means power relations form on divisive lines. This leads to some taking out their frustrations on a 'soft' target by bullying others, including young people seen as different.
For bosses and the politicians their first concern is keeping power at any cost, including whipping-up prejudices. So Bush in the US, for example, attacks gay marriage to divert poor Christians from their poverty along right-wing religious lines to re-elect him in November.
So long as society is based on class divisions, the prejudices that flow from this will remain.
We fight for every reform, applaud every step forward, and campaign to raise awareness. To make this lasting, in a society where these rights can be guaranteed and the roots of discrimination eradicated, we fight for socialism. Join us!
- For details of the Socialist Party LGBT Group, contact Manny on 020 8988 8772
- Click here to visit our liberation pages
In The Socialist 21 August 2004:
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis