Fourth International

Three LGBT amendments and a motion on sexuality

Monday 30 November 2009

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The following amendments and motion reflect discussion that took place at the International LGBT Strategy Seminar in Amsterdam in July 2009.

Amendments to the text on the role and tasks of the Fourth International

1. Add a new paragraph at the end of part 1, paragraph 2, as follows: "The crisis has a particularly harsh impact on women and on sexual minorities that are excluded from the family (or choose not to live in it) and are thus cut off from its resources. The crisis is driving many of the most marginalized people, such as transgenders, into even deeper poverty. This is true especially in dependent countries where a welfare state is weak or non-existent."

2. We support Hall and Philomena’s proposed addition of the sentence, "Religious fundamentalism will be increasingly used as the ideological underpinning both for attacks on the popular classes, targeting notably women’s control of their own bodies, and wars and conflicts between nations and ethnic groups", to part 1 of this document. We propose adding, immediately after that sentence, the following: "A non-Eurocentric approach to sexual oppression and emancipation is important to opposing both Islamic fundamentalism in particular and the Islamophobic ideology of ’clash of civilizations’ that helps fuel it."

We also support the other amendments submitted by comrades Hall and Philomena, notably the amendments to parts 5 and 7 that raise issues of sexual orientation.

3. In part 5, following the sentence "Although there is no model [...] government with social-democracy and the centre left", insert the following passage: "Where we are working inside such broad political forces, it is important to fight for the right of self-organization within these parties by women and LGBTs, and on this self-organization’s being reflected in the parties’ programmes and practice. This self-organization is a means of resisting pressures towards electoralism and institutionalization. In new radical political formations in several Latin American countries, the right to self-organization is important to fighting for a 21st-century socialism from below that rejects authoritarian tendencies and the temptation to repeat 20th-century errors. In general within such broad forces, we start from an understanding, as an indissoluble part of our socialism, of the necessity for a collective and resolute response to all manifestations of prejudice including sexism, racism, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and transphobia. We also fight for specific attention to organizing by youth; for the integration of black, immigrant, women’s and LGBT issues into the party’s public statements and daily interventions; and for representation of specially oppressed comrades in the party leadership and among its spokespeople and candidates for office.”

Motion on attacks on transgender/intersexed people

As the document Women and the Crisis of Civilization recognizes, the growth of violence per se, and violence against the specifically oppressed, is an inevitable part of late capitalism and even more of its current systemic crisis. The Fourth International and its sections will raise as part of their general propaganda the need to stop scapegoating of any section of the oppressed for the crisis of the capitalist system.

The 2003 World Congress resolution on lesbian/gay liberation said, “Thousands of transgendered people unable or unwilling to fit into socially recognized families, unable or unwilling to live as ‘proper men’ or ‘proper women’, are [...] faced with general contempt and even violent attacks.” Recent investigation has shown the magnitude of this violence against trans and intersexed people, which is tantamount to a global assault. The Trans Murder Monitoring Project has reported over 200 murders of trans people in 2008 and the first half of 2009 alone, in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The Fourth International and its sections will support campaigns to stop this barbaric violence and will fight for these issues to be taken up by broader parties, trade unions and progressive campaigns. At the same time we will attempt to work more closely with trans and LGBTQ organizations and win militants from those organizations to the fight against the capitalist system as a whole.

In keeping with the support expressed in the 2003 resolution for “campaigns against psychiatric definitions of homosexuality and transgenderism as pathologies”, we will also support the current campaign initiated by the International Trans Depathologization Network to remove “gender identity disorders” from the international diagnostic catalogues.

Submitted by Peter (Netherlands) and Hall (Appeals Commission)