Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
LESBIANS TAKE ON RIGHT WING
By Trudy Rudnick
The right wing in this country has carried on a growing assault
on the lesbian and gay community. Anti-gay initiatives are on the
ballot in at least nine states. Violence against lesbians, gay
men and the transgender community is on the rise.
In Virginia, two lesbian mothers had their child "kidnapped" from
them by the courts. And in Ovett, Miss., terror has been directed
at two lesbians to try and force them out of their home.
These attacks have been met with resistance, not fear. In many
cases, the leadership of the lesbian community has mobilized a
struggle and turned the bigots around.
The community is not just fighting the violence and threats.
Lesbians and gay men have made a loud and clear pronouncement
that the "closet" is a thing of the past. Nothing will force them
back into it.
In Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Arizona the right wing
has proposed amendments that would prohibit gay civil-rights
legislation and anything that presents homosexuality as positive
In South Carolina and Washington they have tried to prohibit
lesbians and gay men from adopting children, becoming foster
parents or being awarded child custody. The amendments regarding
child custody affect lesbians in particular, as they are most at
risk of losing custody of their children.
Unemployment, homelessness and poverty are increasing while the
working class's general living standard is decreasing. At a time
when workers are angry over the growing misery in their lives,
the corporate bosses and super-rich find it very convenient to
pump up right-wing demagogues to divert that anger against
One idea this ruling class promotes is that gay people, rather
than a lack of jobs or financial security, are responsible for
families breaking up. In Washington state, for example, there's a
struggle over an anti-gay amendment. But the biggest employer in
that state, the Boeing aircraft company, has laid off thousands
of workers. It wasn't gay people who disrupted those families.
Bill Clinton campaigned to win lesbian and gay votes but, once
elected, upheld the ban on gays in the military. His
administration dragged its feet in the case of Wanda and Brenda
Henson, the lesbians in Ovett. Until the Hensons received a bomb
threat in the mail, Clinton's Justice Department refused to
intervene because there is no federal law banning discrimination
against lesbians and gay men.
This June marks the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
Hundreds of thousands of lesbians, gay men, transgender people
and their supporters will be in New York to demand an end to
discrimination around the world. The event will celebrate 25
years of fighting back.
The community will not allow itself to be pushed back. Instead it
will send a clear message to the Clinton administration and to
the right wing that there is no going back.
(Copyright Workers World Service: Permission to reprint granted
if source is cited. For more information contact Workers World,
55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011; via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.)