Pride MUST Be Political

Despite some steps forward in recent weeks with Parliament in Westminster moving closer to legalizing same-sex marriage, there is still much prejudice and homophobia in our society.

This has led to an increase on attacks on people within the LGBT community – according to the Equality Commission homophobic attacks in Northern Ireland have increased by 8% over the last year. There have also been incidents of LGBT people being refused access from places like churches and even some shops or guesthouses!

Recently there has been much controversy over same-sex marriage. Our reactionary politicians as well as some sections of the media publicly state they see gays as dirty and disgusting. The Daily Mail Fail has even published a column stating ‘civil partnerships’ should not be legal!
Internationally the struggle of liberation continues as further anti-gay laws have been put in place in Uganda – this prohibits any forms of sexual interactions within the same gender. In Russia our comrade and LGBT rights activist – Igor Yashin, was arrested and jailed along with others protesting against anti-LGBT laws passed by the Russian parliament last November, at the same time of serious attacks by the far-right and more homophobic legislation on the way.

It is ridiculous to have such laws in place which restrict people’s freedoms because of their sexuality. Like racism, sexism and sectarianism this is another method of ‘divide and rule’ used by the capitalist system. Socialists fight for society where people are liberated from sexual oppression!

Pride started as a political demonstration by the LGBT community to fight for their rights. But this has suffered the commercialisation of many night clubs and insurance companies – the organisers of Belfast Pride now even want to charge contingents to participate!

Pride should be a political statement by the LGBT community, yet it seems that the organisers of pride are trying to make it apolitical, we say this is wrong! The fight for equality and liberation needs to be linked with the struggle against capitalism – the system which feeds off homophobia and hatred in the first place! In a socialist society, the conditions that generate prejudice would no longer exist. There would be unity and equality across society. No one would be attacked or targeted for being ‘different’ or ‘weird’. But in order for this to happen, to achieve a socialist world, we need to fight together to oppose homophobia, sectarianism and the rotten system that lets it happen!

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