Candidates: Socialism key for LGBT liberation
John Parker, Teresa Gutierrez, LeiLani Dowell
24 Jun 2004 17:04 GMT
It's crucial in this election year that we have our own independent political movement that will fight for LGBT lives.
WORKERS WORLD PARTY CANDIDATES PRIDE SALUTE:
WHY SOCIALISM IS KEY FOR LGBT LIBERATION
Pride greetings to everyone today!
We are marching with you to celebrate the Stonewall Rebellion that
ignited the modern U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
liberation movement in 1969. And we are here to cheer the great
victories against state oppression that we all won last year: the
Supreme Court's Lawrence vs. Texas decision that finally decriminalized
lesbian and gay lives, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision
legalizing same-sex marriage.
But these victories, won through years of struggle, are just part of
what we want. We want more than the lifting of legal penalties and
social stigmas. We want a future where LGBT people and all people have
free health care and free education, free day care and elder care,
affordable housing and jobs--and vacations! We want a society with
equality for all--socialism.
Socialism means liberating the vast, worldwide apparatus of production
that was built through collective labor from private ownership and
organizing production to meet human needs and wants.
We are longtime fighters in the struggle for LGBT liberation--two of us
as lesbians, and the other as an ally who has fought together, shoulder-
to-shoulder, with LGBT people for his entire political life.
We are also workers, people of color, supporters of the labor movement,
anti-war and anti-imperialist activists.
And we are here as members of Workers World Party--a revolutionary party
that has marched with a contingent at Pride since 1972, carrying the
banner "Stonewall means fight back!"
Workers World Party has made important contributions to understanding
how oppression based on sexuality, gender and sex arose historically.
But we know that the point is not just to understand the world. The
point is to change it! So in every political struggle we bring forward
the issue of LGBT liberation.
We know that the LGBT struggle is connected to the struggle against
racism, the struggle of people with disabilities, the struggle of the
people who do the work of the world--that all struggles for liberation
WHY CAMPAIGN IN THESE ELECTIONS?
Why are we campaigning now? We want to bring the struggle for LGBT
liberation forward during this election year--and we know Bush and Kerry
aren't going to advance our cause.
Bush wants to make same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Kerry would let
it be declared illegal on a state-by-state basis! But their position on
marriage is just a signal--a message to the right wing that neither of
them intends to fight for LGBT people.
Kerry doesn't even bother to give lip service like Bill Clinton, who
wooed LGBT people during his 1992 campaign, then turned around and
surrendered to the generals with "don't ask, don't tell," which has
actually made life even worse for LGBT people in the military. Then
Clinton joined with arch-reactionary Jesse Helms and signed the anti-gay
Defense of Marriage Act.
But Kerry is not even pretending to be a supporter of LGBT rights.
Both Bush and Kerry are for continuing the brutal war in Iraq. As LGBT
people we can be proud that the first military resister who refused to
serve was gay Filipino Marine reservist Stephen Funk.
We know that LGBT people are everywhere--in the workforce, in the
struggle for immigrant rights, for health care and funding for AIDS and
for women's health, for custody of our children and for day care, and as
young people who soon may be subject to the looming draft.
That's why it is crucial in this election year that we have our own
independent political movement that will fight for LGBT lives--which
means to fight for all of our lives under this racist, oppressive
economic system of capitalism.
We are the candidates that represent that independent movement for
people's power. We don't intend to hand our power over to the
Republicans or the Democrats. We are waging an educational, struggle
campaign to take the message to the world that the only road forward is
for working and oppressed peoples to unite and fight in our own
interests for a socialist future.
Teresa Gutierrez and John Parker
Workers World Party candidates for vice president and president
WWP member, Peace & Freedom Party candidate for Eighth Congressional
District, San Francisco