Socialist Party, formerly Militant

SOCIALIST PARTY

Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Liberation Generation: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality beyond 2000

Liberation Generation

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality beyond 2000

A Socialist Party pamphlet, March 1999.
What’s socialism got to do with it?

Introduction


‘Courageous and persistent campaigning by lesbians, gay men and bisexuals has created a sea change in attitude, but the age of consent debate reminds us of the depth of prejudice that remains.’


“SOON there might not be that much left to fight for or against; but not quite yet.”

  • Independent columnist Philip Hensher, following the House of Common’s vote to equalise the age of consent for gay sex with that for heterosexual sex, June 1998.

HENSHER’S OPTIMISM reflects the enormous strides forward that have been made by the gay community in driving the issue of our civil rights out of the closet and into the public arena.

Courageous and persistent campaigning by lesbians, gay men and bisexuals has created a sea change in attitudes. Greater acceptance of gay sexuality prevails today, probably than at any other time for centuries, although little has yet changed in law.

Polls show that the percentage of people agreeing that ‘homosexual men and lesbians should have the same rights under the law as the rest of the population’ rose from 65% in 1991 to 74% in 1995. That year, an ICM poll showed that the majority of people also agreed that ‘a declared homosexual living in a stable relationship’ should be able to work in teaching (72%), the police (73%), the armed services (62%), as an MP (78%).

The majority of groups and organisations working with young people have publicly supported an equal age of consent, including Save the Children, Barnados and Childline. The British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing have also added their support. Their experience of having to deal with the damaging consequences of discrimination on young lives has brought a more enlightened position.

March 1999

Click here to read the pamphlet

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