Gays and lesbians in the revolutionary movement

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“The Party recognizes and respects the right of individual Party members to choose their gender. The basic principles and rules on marriage within the Party are applicable in their case.”

On same-sex relationships, excerpted from Rules and Guidelines on Marriage within the Party, March 1998

On June 28, the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in New York City, USA will be commemorated in various parts of the globe, bringing together hundreds of gays, lesbians and anti-discrimination advocates. The incident, more commonly known as the “Stonewall riots” stemmed from a series of raids by New York City police on Stonewall Inn, a bar then frequented by gays and lesbians. The “Stonewall riots” pushed the emergence of groups advocating the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders against discrimination in the economic, political and social arenas. The event is commemorated annually through “gay pride parades.”

In the Philippines, progressive groups have long been waging struggles against discrimination targeting gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. This struggle is not only fully supported by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) but is likewise being actively waged within its ranks.

The provision cited above is proof of the CPP’s recognition of their rights and welfare. It has been included as an amendment to the “Rules and Guidelines on Marriage within the Party” in accordance with a decision by the Central Committee’s 10th Plenum in 1992.

The Executive Committee of the Central Committee explained that the Party has long been opposed to any form of social discrimination, oppression and exploitation, including discrimination against women and discrimination based on gender preference. The Party is opposed to oppressing and depriving anyone of rights or opportunities solely because of his or her gender preference.

The Party does not close its doors on gays, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders who wish to join it. Whatever his or her gender preference, anyone who is ready to embrace and advance Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the constitution of the Communist Party of the Philippines can become a member. The New People’s Army has a similar rule recognizing the right of Red fighters to choose their gender.

Alongside the Party’s recognition of the right to choose one’s gender is its all-out efforts to resist prevailing erroneous views or behavior against individuals who have different gender preferences. Discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders—ranging from humorous commentaries that reek of contempt to outright homophobia—is widespread in decadent societies. The revolutionary movement addresses this through education conducted among both the revolutionary forces and the masses. The movement exposes and assails the oppression suffered by gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. Its goal is to struggle against various sectarian views and attitudes, prejudicial treatment and distorted views on the character of individuals with different gender preferences.

The Party is aware that the acceptance, recognition and defense of the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are reflective of the level of political consciousness of the revolutionary forces and the people. Thus, if the Party does not firmly adhere to the basic principle of recognizing the right to gender preference, subjective sectarian views and behavior will keep on rearing their ugly heads.

Because the Party has clear policies against discrimination, all its cadres and members must be ready to treat every individual equally, regardless of gender preference. The revolutionary movement is thus able to pave the way for everyone to give their all to the revolutionary struggle for social change.

On the other hand, revolutionary gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are challenged to contribute studies to enrich the Party’s rules and policies. Among their responsibilities is to sum-up their experiences in order to further develop the Party’s views on revolutionary homosexual marriages.

Gays and lesbians are individuals who are attracted to the same sex (men attracted to men, and women attracted to women). Bisexuals are individuals, male or female, who are attracted to both women and men. Transgenders are individuals, male or female, who choose, or express the desire, to live outside of the usual norms for their biological sex (as women, if male and as men, if female). Unlike gays, lesbians and bisexuals, the main basis for being transgender is gender identity rather than sexual orientation. These four different genders are collectively known as the “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender” (LGBT) community.