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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Queer Oppression (2008)

a Workers Solidarity Movement position paper

The WSM is an Irish anarchist-communist organization.

1. The WSM opposes all oppression of, and discrimination against lesbians, bisexual people, gay men and transgendered people (i.e., homophobia and transphobia).Homophobia and Transphobia divide the working class against itself and also serve the ruling class as an instrument for enforcing rigid gender roles on people of all sexualities. If anyone steps outside a proscribed gender role, especially as a child, the first weapon used against them is to label them queer. It is used against heterosexual as well as queer people.Rigid gender roles are often useful to the ruling class, especially in times of recession, because they can be used to force women into unpaid forms of work including childcare and “housework”. Historically repression of LGBT people has been stepped up during times of economic downturn.2 Anarchists believe that true liberation for gays, lesbians and bisexuals and transexuals will only come about with the abolition of capitalism and creation of a society that gives everyone real control over their lives. This does not mean, however, that the fight is put off until then. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals are entitled to full support in their struggle for equality.3 The WSM recognises the right of Queer people to organise autonomously.LGBT organisations and social spaces help queer people to become confident and out, and to take full part in mixed-sexuality organisations such as trade unions and community groups. It has often been useful for lesbian women to organise seperately from gay and bi men because of sexism and from heterosexual women because of homophobia.
Bisexual people have faced discrimination from lesbian and gay people and organisations as well as homophobia from heterosexuals.
Trans people have had to fight to be included in Queer organisations and in anti-discrimination laws.
Queer people can judge for themselves when they need separate and automomous organisations and what kind
4 The WSM recognises that the overwhelming majority of LGBT people have to work for a living, or survive on benefits and are an integral part of the working class.
5 The WSM supports the celebration of Pride with marches, parades and cultural events, as a challenge to homophobia and transphobia, and commemoration of the Stonewall riots.
The WSM will highlight the crucial role of direct action in the history of the Queer liberation movement and it’s value and desirability in current struggles.
6. In the context of existing social structures, the WSM believes that LGBT people should have exactly the same partnership and shared custody rights as heterosexuals including the right to civil marriage.
7. The WSM demands that discriminatory legislation such as the law which prevents same sex partners from using social welfare travel passes be abolished
8. Transgendered people should be entitled to change their birth certificates to reflect their actual gender. Transgendered people’s choices about their own bodies is to be defended in the same way as women’s right to choose.
9. We support physical self-defence by Queer people against ‘queer bashers’ and the police where necessary. We also commit to a zero-tolerace by all anarchists of homophobic and transphobic violent attacks in a similar way to anarchist zero tolerance of racist attacks. An injury to one is an injury to all and it should not just be up to queer people to resist queer-bashings.
10 Until sexual health provision reflects the needs of lesbian and bi women, specific lesbian health provision need to be established
11 Current cuts in and newly conservative and moralistic approaches to gay and bi men’s health services need to be resisted. Free condom distribution should instead be extended to everyone.
12 In Ireland in 2008, the Catholic Church has sweeping exemptions from equality legislation. It controls most schools and hospitals. The Catholic hierarchy is poisonously and openly homophobic and this means that queer teachers, nurses and doctors are vulnerable and must be defended through the trade unions. The Church’s exceptions from equality legislation should be abolished
13. Deportations of queer people need to be resisted. People in danger because of their LGBT identity in their own countries should have this recognized as sufficient basis for refugee status.
Partnership rights, which allow partners in heterosexual relationships to come and live in this country, should be extended to queer partnerships.
Background: the term “Queer” is increasingly used to refer to themselves by LGBT organisations and individuals who want to challenge all forms of oppression, rather than trying to integrate into mainstream capitalist society.

As rewritten Oct 2008 National Conference

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