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LGBTQ rights are in danger. Pride isn’t a party, it’s time to fight back

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History is but an unstoppable march towards freedom and enlightenment. Here is what is known as the Whiggish view of history, and if it wasn’t killed off on the battlefields of the Somme, Gallipoli and Passchendaele, it surely should have perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Nanjing. Yet, somehow, even as a subconscious urge rather than a historical theory, it persists. While it is true that rights and freedoms can be won and secured through struggle and sacrifice, they can equally be sent hurtling into reverse. And that, it must be concluded, is the current threat facing LGBTQ people.

As homophobic protesters gather outside primary schools to protest against children being educated about LGBTQ people – and succeed in stopping such lessons at one school – we have the grotesque sight of the Labour MP Roger Godsiff publicly backing them. Hundreds of Labour members have already signed a letter demanding his suspension and the party would be wise to listen to them. Labour has a rule allowing for the suspension of a member for bringing the party into disrepute; given Labour’s existential purpose is equality, surely endorsing anti-gay protests more than qualifies for bringing shame on the entire party – not least when they are publicly endorsed as a result by the fascist ex-leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin.

Yet it is our governing party that should most profoundly disturb us.

Esther McVey is a no-hoper in every sense, and her leadership bid will soon crash, but she is still likely to gain a plum job in a Boris Johnson cabinet. When she declares that parents should be able to withdraw their children from being taught that LGBTQ people exist – which is what we’re talking about here, not sex, which is all homophobes seem to think about when queer people are mentioned – it matters. It helps shift the political conversation, reopening debates that were supposed to have been........

© The Guardian