[Marxism] More on Galloway and gay rights

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Nov 23 16:13:55 MST 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tatchell and pink-veiled Islamophobia posted by bat020

[Another guest post, this time from Kevin from our comments boxes]

Call me naïve, but I like to hope that Peter Tatchell might one day embrace 
an inclusive brand of politics which seeks the widest possible unity 
against homophobia. That would require him desisting from specious polemics 
against the left. But we're a long way from that felicitous day, judging by 
the latest outburst from Tatchell's OutRage organisation (unfortunately 
recycled over at Direland)

There was, according to Tatchell, a "grassroots revolt" over LGBT rights at 
the Respect conference last weekend. You can picture the scene: rank and 
file delegates queuing up to denounce their unprincipled leaders, heckling, 
cheers and high drama...

Except it never happened. Instead, the conference unanimously passed a 
motion which regretted that an explicit defence of LGBT rights (which, as 
the motion pointed out, is part of Respect's founding statement) was not 
included in the manifesto and ensured that the mistake would be rectified. 
No one spoke against this motion. There was no showdown. There was no revolt.

But from Tatchell — clearly keen not to let the facts get in the way of a 
good smear — this becomes a clear breach between "the grassroots 
membership" and "Respect's leaders" (who were part of the unanimous vote, 
it being unanimous and all). Very odd.

And it gets odder still when he tells us: "Respect regards LGBT rights as a 
marginal issue of no serious interest or concern." Presumably this must be 
a different Respect from the one whose "grassroots membership" he praises 
for standing up over the issue against their supposedly reluctant leaders.

The same delegates went on to pass an amendment to the resolution — again 
unanimously. It reads:

     Conference notes that prejudice against gay men and lesbians exists 
throughout society. We note in particular recent violent attacks such as 
the homophobic murder of Jody Dobrowksi on Clapham Common.

     Conference notes that a hotel in Devon recently refused a booking from 
a gay couple purely on the grounds of prejudice.

     Conference notes that some LGBT campaigners, such as OutRage, 
disproportionately highlight homophobia among African Caribbeans and 
Muslims, and suggest it is one of the main sources of such attacks. This is 
despite LGBT organisations based in these communities strongly opposing 
such an approach.

     Conference condemns all homophobic attacks and acts of prejudice.

     Conference recognises that homophobia is not mainly a problem among 
ethnic minorities but is a problem in society as a whole. The largest group 
perpetrating attacks are likely to be white men, as was the fascist David 
Copeland, who bombed Brick Lane, Brixton and Soho.

Now this starts to take us to how Tatchell can so spectacularly misreport a 
conference that he did not attend.

Tatchell is disturbingly fixated on men with dark skin. How else can you 
explain why, when invited to comment on the murder of Jody Dobrowski, he 
rapidly started telling his radio audience about the homophobia of a well 
known Muslim cleric? I doubt the two white men charged with the crime place 
much store by the words of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.


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