Reactionary Forces mobilize in France against the legislation of the same sex marriage
Statement of the Internationalist Socialist League (Israel/Occupied Palestine) and the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 28.3.2013 Since 2008 we live in the midst of the worst economic crisis of the world capitalist system which takes place within the historical decay of the capitalist system. The masses are seeking a way out of the crisis. In the case of France Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies were elected with high expectations by the workers and lower classes voters that this government will find solutions to the woes of the rotten economic capitalist system. This of course was an illusion, that will be corrected by the masses who will learn from their own experience.
The “Socialist” Government and the unemployment in France
Unemployment in France stood in March 2008 at 7.5% and has grown since then. It has reached 10.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 10.3% in the third quarter of 2012. Historically, from 1996 until 2012, France Unemployment Rate averaged 9.46%, reaching an all time high of 11.2% in March of 1997 and a low of 7.5% in March of 2008. In France, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labor force. Unemployment Rate in France is reported by the INSEE. As an appendix to this statement readers can find a chart with historical data for France Unemployment Rate.
The social imperialist government of Hollande, that mistakenly thought that an imperialist war against Mali will increase its popularity, is unable to find any solution to the economic crisis. This is because the crisis of the system is rooted in the power of the monopolies and the falling rate of profit. No bourgeois party and no bourgeois workers party – like the French Socialist party – that protects the capitalists can do much about it. The only solution to the economic crisis is the overthrow of the capitalist relations of production that suffocate the further development of the forces of production For this a working class at the head of the suffering masses socialist revolution is needed and the Socialist party is a counter revolutionary party, not a revolutionary workers party.
When Hollande “socialist” party took office in May 2012, most voters supported the idea of gay marriage and few expected any bashing of gays and Lesbians. Yet the failure of the reformist counter revolutionary “socialist” government, to take any measure to curve rising unemployment – for example by public work with equal pay under workers control, or shorter working week without any cuts in pay and social benefits — have given the reactionaries new ammunition which they use against the gays and Lesbians. The reactionaries need in situations like today a scapegoat that can be Moslems, or Gays and Lesbians, to divert the anger of the masses away from the capitalist class. In the past it the scapegoat were the Jews. August Babel – the historic leader of the German workers movement before 1914 – is on record for saying that “Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools”. Today Islamophobia and homophobia have replaced Anti-Semitism in the arsenal of the reactionaries.
The Reactionary Attacks
The pro-capitalist reactionaries who do not have any program capable of dealing with the rising unemployment, demagogically raises the slogan:”Work not Gay’s marriage” as if the economic crisis can be solved by discrimination against Gays and Lesbians or if he conservative and reactionaries have a better program than the Socialist party to deal with the rising unemployment!
Gays and Lesbians are not a class with a different mode of production than the capitalist. All classes have members who are Gays and Lesbians. Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians will not disappear with the legalization of the same sex marriage or the legalization of Surrogacy (which exists in countries like Israel but not in France). Like many other issue in this society the legislation of Surrogacy is beneficial in particular to middle and upper class couples, and it has a strong element of exploitation of women from the lower classes mainly in poor countries.
However, to reactionary protests against the legalization of Surrogacy in the imperialist states is part of their agenda of discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community (LGBT). The question of surrogate mothers is not essentially different from any aspect of exploitation and super-exploitation of women. Marxists do not tell women “Do not work for the capitalists or for a middle class family” as they do not tell the workers in the semi colonies: “Do not work for the imperialists”. They rather say: “work and fight for a socialist revolution – that will expropriate the factories, without compensation under workers control”. This will end the exploitation. Workers revolution will put an end to exploitation of surrogate mothers as well. For now, until the revolution in a case of a conflict between the surrogate mother and the buyers – for example in a case the surrogate mother changes her mind and wants to keep the child – we stand of course with the surrogate mother.
The legislation of the same sex marriage allows middle class Gay and Lesbians couple in the imperialist states to live the life of a “normal family”. As Jean-Jacques Urvoas, the Socialist Party president of the parliamentary law commission, stated in an interview in Le Monde (15 January 2013): “It is mistaken to accuse us of attacking the family when what we want is to make all families secure.” (Quoted in Le Bolchévik No. 203 March 2013, published by the Ligue Trotskyste de France, section of the ICL)
The French Communist Party (PCF) – which is supporting the imperialist war on Mali – is in opposition to surrogate parenthood. Surrogate parenthood currently carries a fine of 45,000 Euros and a three-year prison sentence. It was strongly denounced by Justice Minister Christiane Taubira and Marie-Georges Buffet (PCF) during the parliamentary debates on gay marriage.
Surrogate parenthood is also attacked by feminists in the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA). These NPA feminists argue that it commercializes women’s bodies: “Giving power to a third party over a woman’s pregnancy is a threat to the right to abortion. Moreover, the ability to alienate her body by a contract opens the door to the legalization of prostitution” (Alexandra Kleber and Léa Guichard: La gestation pour autrui: ventre à louer? in: Tout Est à Nous! La Revue magazine, April 2011; our translation)
LGBT in Israel
In Israel the Zionist state is propagandizing the rights of the LGBT as supposedly a proof that Israel is a true and only democracy in the Middle East.
The racist nature of the Zionist state was revealed when on June 10, 2011, a couple of one Jewish man and one Catholic man immigrated to Israel. (“made Aliyah” as the Zionist call it). This couple was the first same-sex, opposite religion married couple to request joint Aliyah Status, although opposite sex married couples of opposite religions receive joint Aliyah as a matter of course. The Jewish man quickly received citizenship but the decision of citizenship for his husband was delayed by the Ministry of the Interior despite the clause in the law saying the spouse of the Jewish immigrant must also be granted citizenship. On August 10, 2011, the Ministry of the Interior granted citizenship to the non-Jewish husband as required by the Law of Return. (See on this Ilan Lior: Israel refuses citizenship for gay man married to Jewish immigrant. The Law of Return is being put to the test by couple from United States, Haaretz 28.6.2011, and Raphael Ahren: Ministry grants citizenship to gay spouse of immigrant. But questions remain whether move sets precedent, Haaretz 2.9.2011)
This case reveals the full essence of racist Zionism: Look what is their attitude toward non-Arab Christians and toward Palestinians whether of the same sex or the opposite sex. The Palestinian citizen of Israel cannot bring his/her spouse from the West Bank or Gaza to Israel. On January 12 2012 the Israeli Supreme Court guided by Israeli racism upheld the law banning Palestinian family unification (Tomer Zarchin, Jack Khoury and Jonathan Lis: Supreme Court upholds ban on Palestinians living with Israeli spouses, Haaretz 121.2012)
Equal right to be cannon fodder
Given the background of the new historic period of capitalist crisis, the rivalry between the ruling classes around the world – and in particular between the Great Powers – is rising. As a result, they need a broader pool to recruit new soldiers. Therefore it is very important for the imperialists to recruit Gays and Lesbians to their armies and Israel can provide a very clear example to this interest. Today 4 of the 5 members of the UN Security Council (United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia), the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Israel, South Africa, Argentina, and all NATO members excluding Turkey enlist gays and Lesbians. This is one important factor what is behind the move to legitimize same sex marriage.
In Israel since 1993 homosexuals have been allowed to serve openly in the military, including special units. This is a change compared to the initial policy, which tended to view homosexuality as a mental illness. Until 1993 the commanders had to report to the military psychiatric department about homosexual soldiers, despite the fact that psychological and psychiatric organizations in Israel and worldwide had, since the 1970s, stopped viewing homosexuality as a mental illness. In 1993, the Israeli Parliament revised the military rules so that gay, lesbian and bisexual Israelis can serve – at least officially – openly and on an equal footing with their heterosexual counterparts.
Similarly in France homosexuals are allowed to serve openly. The Independent wrote on this in 5 May 2000:
“France’s Armed forces accept homosexuals into its ranks provided they do not attempt to “convert” others. A defence ministry spokesman was quoted: “We have no intention of introducing recruiting criteria that would take into account the personal practices of individuals.” (Quoted in Wikipedia)
In France and other imperialist states the need of the ruling class for educated middle class gays and Lesbians changed their attitude to the service of homosexual in the army. In the case of Israel the ruling class decides that gays and Lesbian can be trusted to oppress the Palestinians like any other good Zionist.
Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination against working class Lesbians and gays, many of them do not dare to come out of the cupboard, is hardly effected by the offered legislation. Homosexual and transgender individuals continue to face widespread discrimination in the workplace. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy aggregated a number of surveys to determine the extent to which gay and transgender workers experience discrimination and harassment in the workplace. (See Bias: Consistent Evidence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination, June 2007)
Their findings illustrate that discrimination and harassment are pervasive:
* 15% to 43% of gay and transgender workers have experienced some form of discrimination on the job.
* 8% to 17% of gay and transgender workers report being passed over for a job or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
* 10% to 28% received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were gay or transgender.
* 7% to 41% of gay and transgender workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workplace vandalized.
Straight coworkers also attest to the presence of discrimination and harassment against LGBT workers. The Williams Institute’s report found that 12% to 30% of straight workers witnessed discrimination in the workforce based on sexual orientation.
Controlled experiments have found consistent evidence of workplace discrimination as well. When researchers send two sets of matched resumes to major employers and one indicates the applicant is gay, employers warmly receive “gay” resumes far less often than “straight” resumes. Seven out of eight of these studies confirmed the existence of antigay employment discrimination.
Transgender individuals encounter workplace discrimination and harassment at even higher rates than gays and lesbians. The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released a comprehensive study on transgender discrimination that revealed near universal problems at the workplace:
* 90% of transgender individuals have encountered some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job.
* 47% of workers have experienced an adverse job outcome because they are transgender. This includes:
* 44% who were passed over for a job
* 23% who were denied a promotion
* And 26% who were fired because they were transgender
Discrimination and especially in places of work whether because of gender, color of the skin, ethnic background, nationality or sexual ordination is very beneficial for the capitalists as it save them money because of unequal pay, and it serves them politically as it helps them to divide the workers.
The ISL and the RCIT fight for the unity of the masses, led by the working class. Such a unity can only be built on the basis of equality and the struggle against any form of discrimination based on gender, age, nationality or sexual ordination. Discrimination of one sector of the working class and oppressed masses is an attack on all of us. It must be therefore rejected by all of us!
We therefore oppose any discrimination against LBGT. We call on the working class in France and other parts of the world to defeat the reactionary mobilization of the right wing against the LGBT as an attack against the unity of the working class and the struggle against the capitalist system.
Those who whip up incitement against people with a non-heterosexual orientation are bourgeois forces, media and religious institutions. They fear a threat to the institution of the family. For the same reason, they also suppress the free sexual development of young people through laws that allow them sexual contact only above a certain age.
It is the social relations of oppression against women, young people and people with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation, which open the doors for violence and abuse. Characteristically, most of these abuses take place in relationships that are characterised by clear hierarchical relationships (e-g. family, church, orphanages, prison). Therefore, the Bolshevik-Communists advocate the abolition of all forms of oppression of sexuality and the greatest possible protection against all forms of violence and abuse.
The ISL and the RCIT fight for:
* An end to the paternalism by the state and religious institutions: everyone should be able to realise his or her sexuality without coercion and regulations, as long as this takes place with the mutual consent of the partners.
* For wide-ranging possibilities to obtain high-quality and free contraceptives in pharmacies, at jobs and training sites!
* Complete equality for lesbian, gay and transgender people in the marriage law, right to have children, the public showing of their affection, etc.!
* No criminalisation of the sexuality of young people by statutory age restrictions! However, we are in favour of strict laws against rape and domestic violence, to protect children from abuse. Domestic violence perpetrators should be held accountable by neighbourhood and school committees.
For a world Socialist revolution!
For a New Communist International-the Fifth International!