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Two lesbian women were subjected to a horrifying, violent, homophobic assault on a London night bus on 30 May.
A group of men, who saw them kissing, asked them to kiss for their gratification. When the women refused, they were punched and robbed.
The incident, and the image of the two women bloodied from the violent attack, drew widespread condemnation from working-class people who overwhelmingly reject homophobia.
The current system of capitalism causes inequality and encourages division.
Right-wing populists have exploited workers' anger against austerity to encourage reactionary ideas such as homophobia. The Detroit Pride march was violently disrupted by neo-Nazis.
In the Socialist Party, we argue there is no place in society for homophobic hatred and violence.
In Britain, two women actors were also attacked on their way to perform in an LGBT+ play called Rotterdam. A group of people threw stones at them and heckled them after they kissed.
LGBT+ people often live in fear of being subjected to harassment on the basis of their gender or sexuality, which often forces people to be nervous displaying either affection for their partner or other aspects of their sexuality in public.
In response to the assault, the actors' union Equity released a statement on Twitter: "There is no place for homophobia in society, Equity stands in solidarity with the cast and crew of @RotterdamPlay and we will do everything we can to assist members who experience this kind of hate crime."
The offer of solidarity and support is welcome.
It demonstrates acknowledgement that sexual harassment is a union and workplace issue, even when incidents occur outside the workplace. More can be done to eradicate homophobia.
The pioneering work of the Campaign Against Domestic Violence in the 1990s shows the potential power of the trade unions. This campaign, led by the Socialist Party, demonstrated that violence is a workplace issue, not separate to struggles for liberation.
We ask that the Trade Union Congress organise the unions to fight for the funding of services the working class needs. The trade union movement should be calling for mass demonstrations to force the pathetic Tories from power.
The capitalist class exacerbates divisions along the lines of identity in order to prevent us unifying together to fight them. Inequality, and therefore homophobia, racism, and sexism, are built into the capitalist system.
We fight homophobia now. And we say unite and fight alongside the entire working class for a system that allows for our full liberation through the socialist transformation of society.
LGBT Pride keywords:
Section 28 (8)
Trans rights (4)
Article dated 12 June 2019
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
What we think
Lessons from history
LGBT+ history month
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