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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2007

Fighting homophobia

THIS MONTH is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month. Although now officially supported by the TUC, several government departments and individual politicians, its origins lie with the grassroots.

Liam O'Connolly, Glasgow

Often, LGBT people hide themselves in wider society, often for their own safety.

The aim of the month is to rectify this and deal with the "legacy of silence" which surrounds the history of the LGBT movement.

However, the history of LGBT liberation is also intertwined with the fight for socialism and goes back nearly a hundred years.

Bolshevik Russia, for a period, effectively legalised homosexuality - the first country in the world to do so.

Although this was reversed under the Stalinist regime in the 1930s, it gave a glimpse of how socialism could advance the fight for LGBT equality.

In 1918, the Communist Party in Germany, inspired by socialist revolution in Russia, argued for full equality for lesbians and gays. But the socialist revolution in Germany was defeated.

Years later the gay and lesbian community was defenceless as tens of thousands were sent to the concentration camps alongside socialists and Jews.

With the recent introduction of civil partnerships for same-sex couples, the equalisation of the age of consent and the abolition of the notorious Section 28 amongst other legal reforms, you could be forgiven for thinking that the LGBT community now enjoys equality and the struggle is almost complete.

Unfortunately this isn't true. Homophobia is alive and well in workplaces, in schools and on the streets.

This prejudice is a feature of the capitalist system whose ideology is used to justify and satisfy the interests of a privileged elite.

We need to counter prejudice and division with the call for unity of working-class people and youth into a mass movement for decent jobs, homes, and services.

The case for LGBT liberation needs to be taken to the trade unions, universities, schools and workplaces with the call for genuine equality for the LGBT community and against homophobia.

Socialism, based on ordinary people planning society for the benefit of the majority, will remove the cause of discrimination and oppression.

Only then will the LGBT community enjoy genuine equality.

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In The Socialist 22 February 2007:

Bush & Blair: Get out of Iraq

Iraq 'surge' doomed to failure

Italy: Thousands march against US military base


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

No to Trident!

North Korea: Talks achieve new accord

Anti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist? Read the socialist!


Socialist Students

Students can defeat fees

Another profit-making racket

Living in debt - with no advice

Defend further education


Socialist Party Congress

The politics of socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets

Children at the sharp end of British capitalism

Banking billionaires

Drug companies squeeze profits out of health

Hospitals crisis worsens

Fighting homophobia


Environment

Climate change - we have to act now


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

CWI world congress: How will new workers' parties be built?


Workplace news and analysis

Valentine's day protest

Unique Care workers plan more protests

Israeli postal workers storm trade union HQ


 

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Related links:

Homophobia:

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triangleFight to defend HIV drug victory

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Lgbt:

triangleAustralia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

triangleCardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Socialism, Pride and the fight for LGBT+ rights

triangleWarts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

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Schools:

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Russia:

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Germany:

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Gay:

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Revolution:

triangleCzechoslovakia 1968: 'Prague Spring' challenges Stalinism

Capitalist:

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