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From: The Socialist issue 667, 20 April 2011: United action to defend NHS

Search site for keywords: Discrimination - Gay - LGBT

Gay protest and discrimination

On 15 April, the John Snow pub in London's Soho had angry protests outside its doors after two gay men, James Bull and Jonathan Williams, were ejected for kissing.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people should be safe to express affection in the same way as everyone else, and Soho is known as one of London's "gay villages".

400-500 people blocked the streets around the pub, which closed for the evening, losing its takings. The pub management and brewery, Samuel Smiths, have not so far apologised and further action may be in order.

Reported homophobic attacks in Westminster, including Soho, increased by 21% in the year to the end of February 2011. Previous recessions and cuts led to increased prejudice and hate crimes because social bonds weakened and sections of society looked for scapegoats.

LGBT people fear this is happening again.

The LGBT movement needs to stand up to discrimination and to cuts. This protest shows that people are willing to fight.

The trade unions must take up these issues, both to draw LGBT people into activism, and to give a political alternative to the pro-cuts parties.

Greg Randall

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