Archive article from The Socialist Issue 399
Make Homophobia and Capitalism History!
THIS IS the Socialist Party Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) group message at this year's Pride. As thousands are protesting in Edinburgh against the G8 the London Pride Parade and Rally will be taking place in London with sponsorship from Ford, Virgin Mobile and even the Metropolitan Police Authority!.
Marc Vallée, Socialist Party National LGBT Group Convenor
Many LGBT rights organisations say we do not need to fight for “gay liberation”. We all ready have it, they claim, because of legal reform and because there are so many gay bars, clubs and magazines to choose from and the power of the “pink pound”!
The Socialist Party LGBT group has fought for legal reforms, from the fight for an equal age of consent to getting rid of Section 28. On its own, however, legal reform is insufficient. The Race Relations Act was passed in 1967, yet racial prejudice still exists today and homophobia is still very much alive and all around us.
The Socialist Party believes that prejudice is an intrinsic part of the capitalist system. Capitalism's ideology is advanced to justify the privileged existence of an elite at the expense of the majority and thrives on the inequalities in society which it creates.
In contrast, a socialist society, with democratic working-class control and management of industry and society's resources, would promote unity and co-operation. Under these conditions prejudice would begin to evaporate and personal relationships would be freed from the restrictions imposed by capitalism.
A strategy to achieve lasting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation depends on linking the day-to-day battles against anti-gay and anti-transgender discrimination to the struggle to rebuild a mass movement for socialism and achieve a socialist society.
We need to take the arguments for LGBT liberation and the fight against capitalism into the trade unions, workplaces, schools, colleges and youth clubs, and into the communities and voluntary organisations to rally support behind the call for genuine equality that could stop homophobia.