It encapsulates the idealistic but authoritarian thinking that many socialists follow...
[F]or the most part, the decades of struggle by committed LGBT activists has paid off. We’ve got an equal age of consent, gay couples can adopt children, homophobic discrimination at work and in the provision of goods and services has been outlawed, the gender recognition act means trans people can have their true gender recognised under law, civil partnerships give lesbian and gay couples (almost) equal rights as heterosexual married couples, lesbian couples have equal access to NHS fertility treatment and we’re currently putting a shiny new Equality Bill through Parliament to tie it all together with a big bow on top.
We now need to be looking to other countries and saying ‘Why haven’t you got that?’
67 countries (don’t quote me on that) have now signed the UN’s Declaration on the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality, a groundbreaking (but nonbinding) measure put forward in December 2008 which condemned human rights violations based on homophobia. I was proud that the UK led the charge on this. It was the first time gay rights have ever been discussed in the 192 member General Assembly of the UN and marks an important point in the recognition of the world wide struggle for LGBT equality. However, it had to be proposed as a nonbinding measure because there was not enough support for an official resolution. Homosexuality is still banned in nearly 80 countries and punishable by death in 6. Including Saudi Arabia, a country I’m ashamed that we call an ally.
But we can’t just pass the buck to the UN or to Europe. Our own Government needs to be speaking out more against countries oppressing their citizens and stifling basic freedoms. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is doing some great work through the diplomatic service and I was proud to see our embassies flying the pride flag on 17th May (International Day Against Homophobia), but we need to start getting tough with countries who think it is ok to treat LGBT people as second class citizens. The softly softly approach only works if you can back it up with a big stick.
The question one must ask is, how on Earth does Kevin Peel think we will achieve this? How do you stop the whole world being homophobic?
Historically speaking no-one has achieved anything like this. Not even the British Empire managed to end slavery. And they were willing to point the 19th century's version of a nuclear arsenal at people.
So if the Royal Navy -- which was the biggest stick at the time -- were unable to impose a world view on everyone. How precisely are we going to end homophobia worldwide?
Are we going to point guns at people? Or even nuclear weapons? How far would we have to go to achieve this objective?
The worrying thing about Kevin's view is it is inherently authoritarian. Because there is no way we could ever achieve such a ridiculous goal without resorting to controlling or violent measures.
And that is why everyone should be wary of socialism. Because despite the good intentions the only way to achieve their goals is through violence or control.