Last month’s legalization of same-sex marriage in New York was a small step forward. Already, politicians are taking credit for this milestone; such is the case of New York Democratic Gov.-Cuomo who is using this to advance his own political agenda.
Cuomo is the typical politician, a wolf in sheep’s clothing that one day supports social issues pushed by grassroots protests and popular sentiment, and the next day, he makes workers bleed by cutting funding for healthcare services and public education.
Two steps back
Celebrations over the new Marriage Equality Law were short-lived for many. For example, this law does not end discrimination against LGBT immigrants.
Until the federal definition of marriage is changed (DOMA is officially removed from the books), bi-national gay marriages will not receive the same rights as heterosexual marriages, despite any state legislation. (Read more here)
Meanwhile, states with large Republican majorities in power are seeing a growth of reactionary laws against women and immigrants. In Kansas, for example, abortion clinic providers are under attack by right wingers. According to Mother Jones magazine:
It’s official. Every abortion provider in the state of Kansas has been denied a license to continue operating as of July 1.
The new law, which takes effect Friday, establishes new standards for abortion providers—standards apparently designed to make compliance difficult. The rules require changes to the size and number of rooms, compel clinics to have additional supplies on hand, and even mandate room temperatures for the facilities. Given that the rules were released less than two weeks before clinics were expected to be in compliance, many providers knew they wouldn’t be able to obtain a license to continue operating. The laws, often called “targeted regulation of abortion providers,” or TRAP laws, are an increasingly common legislative maneuver to limit access to abortion by re[n]dering it tough, if not impossible, for providers to comply.
Immigrants are also under attack. Early June, the state of Alabama took a new low when it approved a racist, anti-immigrant bill that some say is tougher than Arizona’s. The New York Times reports that:
Alabama’s bill goes beyond Arizona’s. It bars illegal immigrants from enrolling in any public college after high school. It obliges public schools to determine the immigration status of all students, requiring parents of foreign-born students to report the immigration status of their children.
The bill requires Alabama’s public schools to publish figures on the number of immigrants — both legal and illegal — who are enrolled and on any costs associated with the education of illegal immigrant children.
The bill, known as H.B. 56, also makes it a crime to knowingly rent housing to an illegal immigrant. It bars businesses from taking tax deductions on wages paid to unauthorized immigrants.
The answer is struggle and class independence
The economic crisis has brought back chauvinistic rhetoric that divides the working class. We denounce the ultra-right Tea Party and the Republicans. However, voting for another bourgeois party like the Democrats is not the answer. We want a world without oppression and genocidal wars where workers can begin to organize society for their own benefits. Both Democrats and Republicans want us to pay for the crisis— and their senseless wars of occupation and plunder.
What do we do then?
Organize and fight back to stop government cuts and the concerted ruling class attacks on workers led by President Obama and the Republicans as well as reactionary laws that affect both women and immigrant workers. Obama is not on our side: he’s never been and will never be. Obama follows on Bush’s warmongering path. “Bring the troops back now” have been the popular clamor in this country under Bush and once again under the present administration. Organize to stop the bombing of Libya and in support of the Arab revolutions underway. These new revolts show the way forward. Stand up and fight back! The fight for socialism is essential for the survival of humankind.
What do we mean by that?
By socialism we don’t mean China or the former Soviet Union. Neither do we mean Cuba and Venezuela, nations whose sovereignty we defend. A one-party state has nothing to do with socialism. What we mean is a society with worker’s democracy where the majority discusses how to best find solutions to pressing needs such as housing, healthcare and the ecological crisis.
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