Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit LESBIANS TAKE ON RIGHT WIN

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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 behavior. 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 scapegoats. 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. -30- (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: ww%transfr@blythe.org.)

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