Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

LGBT Pride :: Section 28

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

* LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Section 28


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 164, 30 June 2000: Labour Pampers Its Fat Cats

Search site for keywords: Gay - Labour - Section 28 - TUC

Not so 'gay friendly' New Labour

THIS IS an important week for gay rights activists. On 1 July tens of thousands will gather for Pride. Three days earlier, representatives from 34 trade unions assemble for the Lesbian and Gay Conference of the TUC (LGTUC).

Lionel Wright, Socialist Party Lesbian Gay & Bisexual Group & MSF Delegate to LGTUC (personal capacity)

In May 1997, along with millions of workers expecting a reversal of the Tories' attacks, many hoped a 'gay-friendly' Labour government would implement gay rights legislation.

Three years on, there has only been one substantial change. The ban on lesbians and gay men serving in the military ended in January. But Labour only lifted it after opposing European legal proceedings by people sacked from the armed services.

It was a similar story with employment rights. Labour opposed railworker Lisa Grant's European action, and then blocked a Bill which would have given lesbians and gays more rights at work.

Since then the government has proposed a voluntary 'code of practice'. But this will depend on the goodwill of employers.

The TUC's 'Straight Up' campaign for anti-discrimination legislation is an important initiative. But the campaign should be widened and as a first step, unions still affiliated to Labour must demand that sponsored MPs support statutory protection.

The TUC general council failed to act upon last year's conference resolution calling for a national demonstration against racism, fascism and homophobia in the wake of the Soho and Brixton bombs. But in the same year that trade union membership rose for the first time in a generation, racist attacks multiplied. The trade union movement ignores the threats of racism, and all divisions between workers at its peril.

Against this background, both an equal age of consent and the repeal of Section 28 have been undermined by right-wing counter-offensives. But, as a motion to the LGTUC puts it, Labour's "half-hearted" approach has helped produce this backlash.

On Section 28, we face the prospect that when it goes in England and Wales as well as Scotland, repeal will only lead to new difficulties for gay people.

After 12 years campaigning for gay youth to enjoy equality in sex and relationships education, Labour's post-Section 28 policies in Scotland and in England and Wales makes statutory requirements for teachers and others to emphasise marriage as the most 'desirable' form of personal relationship.

The gay rights lobby group Stonewall has deteriorated into a mouthpiece for the New Labour government instead of a fighting organisation. On every key issue, like the abuse of trust 'safeguards' to the age of consent, the watering-down of the repeal of Section 28 and the voluntary code ceiling on employment rights, Stonewall has traded away our just demands.

Long before the Blair government and its Scottish counterpart surrendered to the family values brigade on Section 28, Labour had spoken of "ensuring that we do not undermine the family".

This is the 'joined-up thinking' of Blair's political programme of shifting responsibility for social provision away from the state to individuals. Pensioners, single parents and students have all been targeted for cuts to protect the market system.

Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people should join a union and its gay section - and help set one up if necessary. Gay activists should link their campaigns with the working class to mobilise a force for change which no anti-gay tycoon or evangelical caucus can block.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






LGBT Pride keywords:

Gay (85)

Homophobia (38)

LGBT (120)

Lesbian (6)

Lgbti (1)

Lgbtq (11)

Pride (74)

Section 28 (8)

Trans (20)

Trans rights (4)

Transgender (10)

Transphobia (4)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 30 June 2000

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle15 Jun Bristol North Socialist Party: Education under capitalism

triangle15 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The socialist approach to the environment

triangle15 Jun Brighton Socialist Party: Disability, neurodivergency, and the left

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

What we think

NHS

Workplace news

Lessons from history

Campaigns news

Israel/Palestine

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1137 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version