Socialist Worker

Fighting for LGBT liberation against Tory hypocrites

The Tories say they have more out MPs than any other party—but does that mean they are for LGBT rights?

Issue No. 2289

LGBT activists protest against Tory cuts at a Brighton Pride march  (Pic: http://www.guysmallman.com/Guy Smallman )

LGBT activists protest against Tory cuts at a Brighton Pride march (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The Tories have boasted that they now have more out MPs than any other party.

Prime minister David Cameron has hosted receptions for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organisations and celebrities at Downing Street, they say.

Cameron has also praised Tory progress on LGBT issues—and pledged to cut aid to countries with bad records on gay rights (see below right).

This has led some to wonder if the nasty party is changing. But really it’s yet another example of “pinkwashing”—using false sentiment over LGBT rights to cover up and distract from the true impact of their agenda.

Any progress in our struggle for equality has come from below—not from the Tories. Over 90 percent of people in Britain support LGBT rights.

No amount of champagne receptions will escape the fact that significant sections of the Tory party have always resisted reform—and bigotry continues to flow from their ranks.

Lesbian Tory MP Margot James is not our sister, gay Tory MP Alan Duncan is not our brother and David Cameron is not our friend.

Duncan is a multi-millionaire former oil trader. He claimed more than £4,000 in MPs’ expenses for gardening costs.

It is hard to imagine these MPs having difficulties with their healthcare. And none of them will be forced to work beyond retirement age.

LGBT oppression is materially and ideologically rooted in class society through the institution of the family.

Those in power subject every aspect of ordinary people’s lives—even our personal relationships—to the priorities of profit-making. They support the family because it provides care for the young, old and sick at low cost.

The family is a mechanism for reproducing a workforce on the cheap. It also has an ideological function.

It encourages workers to think of themselves not as part of a collective working class, but as members of small, vulnerable groups competing for scarce resources.

Now the Tories are using the cuts to increase the pressure.

Attacks

For example, attacks on education funding are forcing working class students to rely on their parents for financial support. Many young LGBT people fear losing support if they come out to their parents.

In Britain some 30 percent of young homeless people in urban areas are LGBT.

The institution of the family makes it easier for the government to shift the economic and political battle into a moral one—like blaming “bad” parents, or encouraging LGBT people to blame themselves.

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher’s Section 28 law forbade positive discussion of gay relationships in schools.

Today, Cameron’s Clause 28 of the government’s free school funding agreement contains a similar anti-gay rule.

It instructs schools to ensure children “are protected from inappropriate training materials and ... learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and bringing up children”.

Some 65 percent of LGBT school students have experienced bullying. These measures will only make this worse.

The Tories’ attacks are not just about making us pay for their crisis. They are using the cuts in a cruel and calculated attempt to divide us and our resistance.


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Article information

Features
Tue 7 Feb 2012, 18:06 GMT
Issue No. 2289
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