[Marxism] Re: John O'brien's comments ...

John Obrien causecollector at msn.com
Sun Apr 18 23:23:10 MDT 2004


It was not open Gay activists the SWP leadership had banned - it was any Gay/Lesbian person they discovered.
Many stayed in the closet and came out when the policy changed - but were in constant fear of being found out - so they repressed themselves - to not be kicked out by the party leaders.

Obviously the SWP never really supported Gay/Lesbian rights - just forced to give an appearance that they were not bigots - 
most people do not like the feeling of being considered bigots.  Of course a number were  (but fortunately not all).  Most of the SWP members did not think it was a big thing - just went along with what ever the leadership said - "since they knew best"

The Stonewall Rebellion had a profound effect not only on Gays and Lesbians in New York City but it was felt and is still being felt in all parts of the world.  There are annual marches to celebrate this event in many parts of the world - so it was profound -like the American Revolution.

You mention Chicago - so I assume you are from there.  Chicago has been holding annual parades the last Sunday in June to remember the Stonewall Rebellion for over 30 years.  I have a Chicago Gay Pride March button from 1971 - and know people who worked on that organization then.  Stonewall is not just something that affected New York City. 

John O'Brien


  --- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark Lause 
  To: 'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition' 
  Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 7:35 AM
  Subject: RE: [Marxism] Re: John O'brien's comments ...

  I think there needs to be a distinction between the SWP/YSA position
  supporting gay rights, the admission of openly gay activists to
  membership, and the experiences of a "national" organization as opposed
  to its local chapters.  The fact is that Stonewall may have
  revolutionized thinking in NYC, and the internal life in such places may
  well have been quite different.  

  However, none of this had any immediate meaning for how the CEOs of the
  national organization were advising the local chapters.  This didn't
  happen until the winter of 1970-71 in the Midwest locals of the Chicago
  region. These things would have always worked better if the ranks had
  shaped the policy rather than imposing the corporate model that passed
  for "Bolshevism".

  Mark L.

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