LGBTQ

Letter: Deal with the serious feminist concerns

Author: 

Patrick Murphy

I thought Claudia Raven’s attempt to navigate the recent discussion around trans rights and women’s rights was far too unquestioning of the dominant left narrative on the issues. A recurrent feature of that narrative is to minimise or dismiss the concerns raised by some feminists as exaggerations, shallow or, worse still, transphobic.

Definitions and material realities do matter. Feminists, by and large, define women as a biological sex, humans with specific sexual characteristics including the capacity typically to reproduce. Their opponents seem reluctant to define the term at all, more concerned to ensure that it’s a description open to anyone who wants to claim it. Is that not a problem?

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Trans rights are not opposed to women’s rights

Author: 

Claudia Raven

There has been a great deal of debate within the left over the proposed consultation on, and potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act. This was sparked by an article by National Union of Teachers (NUT) Vice President Kiri Tunks in the Morning Star, claiming the changes will undermine the rights of cisgender women. She argues this against her union’s supportive position, which has been reinforced by a statement coordinated by the NUT LGBT group.

In a situation where minimal legal change can dramatically reduce the suffering of a section of people at no cost to others, we should support it. Women’s rights and trans rights are not in conflict with each other.

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Support ex-Muslim LGBT peoples’ right to protest

Author: 

Simon Nelson

The presence of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) on London Pride has caused a politically awful backlash by the left and others. Counterfire commented “Islamophobic placards have no place at Pride”. Socialist Worker state, “a small group of around ten racists also joined the parade with placards attacking Muslims.” This was followed by an official complaint against them by the East London Mosque.

The presence of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on London Pride has caused a politically awful backlash by the left and others.

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Chicago dyke march kicks out LGBTQ Jews

Author: 

Elizabeth Butterworth

On 24 June, a group of LGBTQ Jews were asked to leave Chicago’s annual Dyke March. The group, including Laurel Grauer from A Wider Bridge (an NGO that links with LGBTQ organisations in Israel), were approached by a group of activists asking about their intentions in carrying Pride flags with a Star of David imposed on a rainbow.

LGBTQ Jews face discrimination from their own community and wider society, and about Israel.

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PCS conference votes to back freedom of movement

A report of PCS conference by a delegate.

PCS, the civil service union, held it′s national conference in Brighton 23-25 May.

Workers’ Liberty supporters, organised as part of the left-opposition faction, "Independent Left" within the union were delegates. Going into conference with victories in the NEC and Bargaining Group Executive elections.

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Manning finally free

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Chelsea Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth, the maximum security prison on 18 May, after seven years of harassment, brutality and enforced solitary confinement.

Manning was sentenced in August 2013 for leaking classified wire cables and military records to WikiLeaks. At the time she was a military intelligence analyst and for slightly bizarre reasons will remain classified as a member of the military for a period after her release.

Chelsea Manning’s crime was only to expose the inner workings of US imperialism where, through both its diplomatic relations and areas of its military manoeuvres, civilian life is treated purely as “collateral damage”.

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International pressure fails to halt Chechen tortures

Author: 

Mike Zubrowski

Despite international pressure, the detention and torture of suspected gay men by the Chechen government since late March has continued, and more secret concentration-camp style prisons have been discovered.

Russian LGBT activists are helping to evacuate and assist those persecuted in Chechnya. To tackle the root of the problem requires ending the pervasive homophobia in Chechen society and the authoritarianism of the Chechen state.

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Chechnya: stop anti-gay state killings

Author: 

Mike Zubrowski

Over 100 men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and detained by the Chechen authorities, with many tortured and some killed.

Chechnya has an authoritarian and extremely repressive state presiding over a deeply homophobic society, but this development is shocking even in this context. Some of the suspected gay men were killed in violent raids, whilst others have been kept in secret “concentration-camp style” prisons, where many have been subjected to electric shocks and violent abuse, with some beaten to death.

The conservatism and homophobia in Chechnyan society is linked both to nationalism and to traditional and political Islam.

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Homophobia and Wallasey CLP

This is a summary of the AWL's view on what is going on.

Homophobia should be driven out of the labour movement. Serious charges of homophobia should be investigated, and disciplinary action taken if they are substantiated.

However, in Wallasey no precise charge has been lodged.

A summary of the AWL's view on the controversy around Wallasey CLP.

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US radical feminists team up with fundamentalist bigots

Author: 

Claudia Raven

The US radical feminist group Women’s Liberation Front (WOLF) have teamed up with the Family Policy Alliance, a section of Focus on the Family, to fight against a federal protection for transgender people in the education system.

Trans-exclusionary radical feminists prioritise the exclusion of trans women over the breakdown of gender norms.

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