[Marxism] Re: Radical Homosexuality

Philip Ferguson PLF13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Apr 29 21:09:52 MDT 2004


Gary:
> Calvin's remark that he did not care what people do in their 
> bedroom resonated not entirely favourably with me.


Yeh, that's a strange one.  

Especially since, in general, gays aren't harassed in their own bedrooms
by the cops but in public places.

I doubt even someone like Bush much cares about what people do in their
own bedroom either, so that's hardly even a particularly liberal, let
alone radical, position.  

Equality means that homosexuals, bisexuals, transgendered or any
variation thereof have the *same rights*, including (indeed,
especially!) *in public*, as heterosexuals.

There are still a few battles to be fought, the marriage one being the
obvious one.  There are also things like adoption rights and so on.

But the general trend of ruling classes has been to liberalise laws on
sexuality.  They often do this these days even without much of a
campaign to pressure them to.

I think gay marriage might take a bit of a battle, and that the smart
money will do is manage a gradual process of change - slowly bring in
civil unions and civil unions will eventually become marriages.  Gay
lobby groups, which tend not to be very radical these days, are quite
likely to be complicit in managing the process.

I think a militant campaign for marriage equality would actually create
trouble for the ruling class.  But the gay community certainly doesn't
seem to want to launch such a campaign and nor does the left.  So the
ruling class may well be able to manage a gradual process without too
much hassle.

The thing about public space is more interesting.  I tend to think of NZ
as a very pc place where gayness is so much part of establishment life
now, that it's pretty unexceptional.  A couple of years ago, however, I
was talking to a gay bloke in Hamilton who told me that recently cops
had been raiding cruising areas in the city, and I seem to recall them
hassling some men on a fairly out-of-the-way Auckland beach as well.

So, there still seem to be *some* limits to state toleration of public
displays of homosexuality.  They can handle the gay mardi gras in
Auckland and across the ditch in Sydney, which are huge mainstream
events now, with big TV coverage, corporate sponsorship and so on -
albeit, kind of to gay liberation what St Patrick's Day in New York is
to Irish national liberation.  There's a fair bit of lewd stuff on these
(and, personally, I'm all in favour of a bit of public lewdness -
there's far too little of it these days). The state seems fairly happy a
bit of lewdness on floats and other such stuff in the Auckland Hero
Parade (gay mardi gras). The tiny groups of fundie Christians complain
and the state basically tells the Christians to sod off.

But people of the same gender holding hands and kissing in public places
is still pretty rare and it would be interesting to see how the liberal
state in places like New Zealand, Australia, Britain and Canada handled
something like a big public gay kiss-in.

Phil




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