May ninth will be a historic year for the gay liberation movement in North America. This is because American President Barack Obama announced his backing of Gay marriage. Though bourgeois apologists have claimed that this move will push forward the global equality campaign such a statement is a complete fabrication. The truth couldn’t be more backwards. With many countries becoming more anti-American by the minute, and often doing the opposite of whatever America does, any endorsement from the United States will only serve as another reason why bigoted nations crackdown on equality protesters.
With the decline of capitalism entering its second decade, a decade which, much like its predecessor, will be marked by Imperialist interventions, repressive social measures, and draconian austerity pushes, the ruling class will seek to undermine popular uprisings by dividing the working class. In a world so disturbed by unrest many minorities are caught in the crosshairs and used as scapegoats. In our modern epoch no minority is perhaps more persecuted than sexual minorities; the people of the Queer movement (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) face the brunt of the assault.
In Europe, with the rise of Neo-Fascism steadily climbing, many Queer people are facing bigoted governments. In Russia, within the city of St. Petersburg, the city board passed an “Anti-Gay Propaganda” bill which prohibits any “promotion” of Queer people. Because of this bill many activists have already been arrested. The recent conviction of Nikolai Alexeyev proves that the reactionary Russian government intends to stick with this law. Worse yet, other cities in the former USSR are attempting to pass similar legislation.
Going beyond Russia one finds within the African Continent widespread Homophobia. For men homosexuality is illegal in 29 countries while for women it is illegal in 20 countries. Examining such fear more closely one will find that Uganda still reigns supreme with its rigid maintenance of patriarchal social-systems. Under such orders the Ugandan government still seeks to pass its infamous “Kill All Gays” bill; though once defeated it has reemerged with some support.
Moving onto China we can see how “capitalist road travelers” have firmly entrenched the Western stigmatization of homosexuality. Though Same-Sex attraction was officially “legalized” in 1997, and removed from the Ministry of Health’s list of mental diseases in 2001, modern China maintains “traditional” unions. It is routine for police to raid gay establishments, depictions of Same-Sex couples are banned from television, and the Absolute Neutrality policy (commonly referred to as the “Three No’s) All but prohibit the ruling party from any progressive action.
Yet, no location is perhaps more important than the United States. With North America being home to the citadel of worldwide Imperialism, and the U.S.A readily calling itself a progressive nation, the status of the Queer Liberation movement here is important precisely for the reasons which many heterosexual revolutionaries fail to see.
Though several American States have passed laws allowing homosexual marriage, with more states doing all but allowing marriage, discrimination remains high. Many Queer activists are fooled into advocating for the failed institution of marriage because they honestly believe it will lead to equality. Yet, the opposite is most often true. This is evidenced by the continuing epidemic of gay teenagers committing suicide. Many of these suicides have taken place within areas which were above the so-called “Bible Belt” and thusly were considered desirable areas for Queer couples to immigrate to.
Facts such as this should be studied by all socialist revolutionaries for exactly the same reason that the marriage battlers want to be married: equality. The reality is that the anti-discrimination and bullying movement is far more prevalent. Within this movement progress is likely to be reached within a duel fashion: as soon as all discrimination is truly expelled than marriage would naturally be the end result. Many bourgeois activists, however, fail to see such methods and opt instead for the direct route of marriage (the reasoning that with marriage will come acceptance).
These American movements are important to note because of the ripple effect American power has on its allied Imperial camps. As social tides change and the working class begins to assert themselves throughout the world, the bourgeoisie finds each passing day their power dwindling. It will only be expected that to reassure their stranglehold they will adopt successful tactics as operated by their foreign counterparts.
This event is what some Situationists might refer to as “Recuperation.” Simply put it is when the Ruling Class takes an event which has at one time threatened their position and now uses it to strengthen their base. Decades ago the Gay Liberation movement was militant and lead by all stripes of the revolutionary left, yet, as progress slowed, and the religious fundamentalist counter-revolution gained momentum, the movement which had once been radical gradually became mired in reactionary goals and tactics.
Such an example is exactly what has happened in the allied camps. In this manner the battle for marriage, and not anti-discrimination, is another example of a degenerated workers movement that the bourgeoisie harnessed to protect themselves; though conservative elements oppose such a goal the liberal wing understands that even when the day comes where marriage is made legal it will no longer pose a threat to their control.
Under this strategy the Ruling Class seeks to export such tactics to both their allies and their enemies; their allies via diplomatic and societal coercion, and their enemies, those capitalist nations which exist outside the American sphere of influence, by brute force (often known as “Humanitarian Interventions”). Though often a slow process the Capitalist class invariably gets want they want sooner or later.
Using Recuperation, to again use the Situationist term, the reactionaries fool the masses into believing their progressive rhetoric thus eliminating an obstacle and gaining a friend (Once the immediate goal of marriage has been satisfied many bourgeois activist see little reason to continue participating and thus return to the bourgeois system full heartedly).
Their victory is reflected in how their citizenry are treated. In American life this often translates to Transsexuals; a minority within a minority that is often persecuted by reactionary Queer elements.
With the trial of CeCe McDonald drawing to a close and many Transgender activists furious at the incident, many Americans are blind to Transgender struggle despite contributing to the hatred. CeCe was attacked late one night while patroning a local convenient store. Her attackers were four Caucasians, one of which had a Swastika tattoo on his chest. CeCe defended herself and though the details are hazy by the end of the night two of her attackers lay dead.
CeCe, a colored Transwomen, was a dedicated activist and role model for the Queer youth she lived with. Yet this did not stop her from being unjustly persecuted as a criminal. It is commonly assumed that CeCe took the offered plea deal because she understood that she would be convicted and sent away for a much heavier sentence than if she refused.
It must not be overlooked that it was fear which drove her to accept this deal (a deal which gave her 41 months behind bars). Fear that manifested itself as a direct result of the Queerphobic and racist attitudes which still persist in America despite the election of a Black man and the widespread “Justice for Trayvarn Martin” movement. This episode indicates that many Americans have such Transphobia that even their supposed anti-racist convictions cannot push them to helping another human. In this manner they reveal that though they fight for Martin’s “Justice” they are, in fact, little better than petite-racists for their rejection of CeCe’s struggle.
We see here that American politics are opportunist: Obama announcing his support for gay marriage while overlooking CeCe McDonald, is potent proof of the reactionary intents of even the so-called “progressive” bourgeois dictatorships. It is simply another tactic the bourgeoisie uses in its never ending campaign to adjust to new social climates.
In conclusion, though in some parts of the world the bourgeoisie have been tactful and granted some steam towards the Queer Rights movement such support is misleading; it weakens the Working Class movement while adding to the Capitalist class’s “moral reserve;” it does this not from any inherent Queerphobic paranoias but from depriving activists a vital tool in organizing. As revolutionary anti-capitalists it is our mission to fight with our Queer brothers and sisters. We must battle alongside them for anti-discrimination measures, equal treatment in the workplace, and where no other more progressive cause exists, a revolutionized effort at attaining marriage.