Socialist Worker

Debate: combating homophobia

Issue No. 1978

Respect reaffirmed its commitment to opposing homophobia.

While there was one speech arguing that the organisation had not sufficiently highlighted the issue at the general election, there were three others detailing how clear arguments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality were put and won.

Dave Goodfield from Coventry said, “We have just seen the recent appalling murder of a young man, Jody Dobrowski, on Clapham Common.”

Dave called for a clear stand against bigotry, wherever it comes from, and rejected the idea that black and Muslim communities are in some way the main source of such attacks.

Delegates were shocked when he read out a quote—“what does a moderate Muslim do, other than excuse the real nutters by adhering to this barmy doctrine?”—and revealed it came not from the far right, but from a gay publication.

He told delegates this was an extreme reflection of a “disproportionate focus” by a small number of activists against homophobia on African Caribbeans and Muslims.

Coventry’s amendment was passed unanimously. The overwhelming feeling among delegates was both to campaign against homophobia and also not to allow the issue of lesbian and gay rights to be cynically used as a cover for Islamophobia.

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