Pride 2010 – Unite against homophobic attacks

On 26 June, a gay couple were violently assaulted in Shipquay Street, Derry. Just a month previously, two men were found guilty of the homophobic murder of Shaun Fitzpatrick in Dungannon in 2008. These brutal attacks must be met with a firm response from the LGBT community and by workers and young people everywhere.

The 12 months between April 2009 and March 2010 have seen a spike of homophobic incidents reported to the police in areas like Carrickfergus, Banbridge, Newry, Antrim and Cookstown. However, the majority of incidents go unreported. The Rainbow Project surveyed over 1,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people and found that 64% of incidents are never reported to the police. The project also found that over a fifth of participants had been victims of homophobic attacks in the last three years.

Those who carry out these brutal attacks are encouraged by homophobic attitudes and remarks made by politicians such as the disgraced Iris Robinson, who is on record as saying that, “there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children”. Her husband and current First Minster, Peter Robinson, supported her views. Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, came under attack in the US in March for taking part in a parade which banned gays from participating when other public figures boycotted the parade.

Homophobia is also used by capitalist politicians to deflect attention away from their own anti-working class policies. The antics of politicians, such as Iris Robinson and UUP Lord Mayor of Antrim, Adrian Watson, who stated he would refuse gay couples at his Bed & Breakfast, are used to distract attention away from the Assembly Executive’s attacks on public services and jobs.

Homophobia must be firmly opposed in the workplace, the schools, the home and in the communities. Tackling homophobia must be a struggle for the LGBT community together with the wider working class and young people which needs to be linked to the need to fundamentally change society. Genuine equality and liberation for LGBT people cannot be achieved by a capitalist system which delivers poverty, inequality and discrimination. Only under a socialist society can gay rights be guaranteed.


Previous Article

Privatisation and corruption at NI Water

Next Article

Unite general secretary election: support Len McCluskey

Related Posts

WELB ‘efficiency’ cuts target primary school children

Like most other Governmental bodies, the WELB have placed a moratorium on the recruitment of staff as a means to met the stringent efficiency gains agreed by the Stormont parties in their three-year Comprehensive Spending Review (May 2008- April 2011). The impact of this has been to place an ever greater burden on those staff remaining on to provide front-line services.


Copenhagen Climate failure exposes failure of the profit system

The UN’s Copenhagen climate summit has failed to deliver any significant response to the rising threat of global warming. This is unsurprising given recent history of such events, with most industrialised countries currently failing to meet even the grossly insufficient targets agreed at Kyoto back in 1997. This further demonstrates the inability of capitalism to solve the key problems facing the world today.

Kazakhstan – Mass prison hunger strike against brutal regime

OSCE Chair presides over torture of prisoners – Protests needed urgently!

In the “strict regime” prison colony, AK159/6, in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan, a collective hunger strike was declared by the prisoners in protest at alleged brutal beatings, the prison’s military regime and claims of ’frame ups’ of prisoners by the authorities. Starting with a few prisoners at the end of May, the hunger strike has now been joined by the mass of prisoners. Kazakhstan currently holds the Chair of the The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

A video, filmed on 28 May, shows the typical brutal treatment of one prisoner