Something new under the sun
The revolutionary left and gay politics
in Against the grain
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This chapter explores the responses of the revolutionary left to the emergence of gay people and gay politics, focusing on the crucial first decade from about 1970 to 1980. Gay Liberation was a project dedicated to the root and branch transformation of society and culture, a rejection of capitalism, to be sure, but also of patriarchy, heterosexual power, the nuclear family, and hierarchies of all kinds. Homosexuality erupted onto the public agenda in the mid-1950s, as a series of sex scandals drove the government of Winston Churchill to establish a Home Office inquiry into prostitution and homosexuality. The chapter finally examines the efforts of the three most important British revolutionary groups of the time: Militant/Socialist Labour League (SLL), the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and the Socialist Workers Group/International Socialists/ Socialist Workers Party (SWG/IS/SWP).

Against the grain

The British far left from 1956

Editors: Evan Smith and Matthew Worley


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