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Socialist Party Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group


Gay rights and the Socialist Party

‘It was the best national meeting I’ve been to in a while because I could actively engage in the discussion.’

That was Andrew’s verdict on the last Socialist Party Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Group national meeting held in London in October 2003. All those participating from around England and Wales agreed.

Manny Thain

The day started with a thought-provoking political discussion on the family.

This was introduced by guest speaker, Christine Thomas, who explained the role of the family in modern society and how it has developed over time – from the earliest human communities through slave, feudal and capitalist systems.

The wide ranging discussion touched on the attitude of organised religions to same-sex relationships, partnership rights, the approaches of establishment political parties, and much more.

Campaigning priorities

In the afternoon Marc Vallée (LGBT Group convenor) started the discussion on our campaigning priorities by comparing today’s attitudes to sexuality with the political outlook of LGBT people and movements of the past.

The discussion highlighted our campaigning initiative on homophobic bullying in education. From this meeting, a resolution on this issue went to (and was passed at) the International Socialist Resistance conference in November.

We heard personal accounts of homophobia in workplaces, where verbal abuse is commonplace and often goes unpunished. And there were reminders of the sense of isolation that many LGBT people face, especially outside of the main cities.


We agreed that we should encourage Socialist Party branches – as well as International Socialist Resistance and Socialist Student societies – to arrange discussions on the family and LGBT issues.

They raise many fundamental questions, and are invariably wide-ranging, provocative and interesting.

They also bring out local problems, which can become the basis for campaigning activity – for example on the need for safe and affordable social venues for LGBT people.

The Socialist Party LGBT Group is more than willing to provide advice and speakers.

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