Gay Rights and Socialism

With the vote (and likely legalization) of Gay Marriage in Hawaii looming today, and Raphael Cruz’s recent remarks regarding Gay Marriage and ‘Marxism’, an examination of the actual Marxist position on gay marriage seems to be in order.

Homosexuality was seen by Marxists of the 20th century as a perversion specific to capitalist societies, ‘practiced’ only by fascists and the wealthy elite. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union banned homosexuality. The ban remained in place until 1993, after the USSR’s dissolution. Mao argued that homosexuality was a result of the social antagonisms(in capitalism) between men and women that would be resolved in a future socialist society. As a result, most self-described Marxist-Leninist states had a very poor record on LGBT rights.

This is in contrast to the view of modern leftists, who are generally supportive of gay rights. This development is part of the liberalization of radical politics, where the ideas of socialism are interspersed with the various issues of women’s rights, gay rights, bigotry, inequality, and ‘social justice’. These problems are seen as isolated, rather than emphasizing their relation to the totality of capitalism. Socialism is always seen through the atomizing lens of postmodern-bourgeois ideology.

Gay Marriage is a bourgeois freedom: it is permitted because it doesn’t challenge any of the sacrosanct institutions of capitalist society. That is not to say legalizing gay marriage is not a step towards a better society: it is. Capitalism is a dynamic and innovative system which eradicates the social and economic vestiges of the old world; including religion and anti-homosexual sentiments.

I’m glad gay people now have the right to marry; but for real change we need to break free of our postmodern politics.

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