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Gay Liberation in Canada:
A Socialist Perspective

Gay Liberation in Canada: A Socialist Perspective was published in 1977 by Vanguard Publications, the publishing arm of the League for Socialist Action / Ligue Socialiste Ouvriere. We are reproducing the entire text here.

In the original pamphlet, the LSA’s 1976 resolution ("The Socialist Perspective for Gay Liberation") appeared ahead of the 1971 report ("The Gay Movement 1971: A Tentative Assessment"). We have reversed them, so the documents appear in chronological order.

We have also corrected obvious typographical errors, and made some minor stylistic changes in the interests of simplifying reading online.

Readers unfamiliar with the organization of the LSA/LSO may find these definitions helpful:

Central Committee (CC): The elected pan-Canadian leadership body of the LSA/LSO.

Political Committee (PC): The day-to-day leadership body of the LSA, usually composed of members of the Central Committee resident in Toronto.

Plenum: A meeting of the full Central Committee.

Internal Discussion Bulletin (IDB): A bulletin for discussion within the LSA/LSO, open to written contributions from all members during pre-convention discussion periods.


by Duncan McLean

THE GAY MOVEMENT 1971: A Tentative Assessment

A controversial report adopted by the LSA/LSO Central Committee in 1971. The first position ever taken by a left group in Canada on gay liberation.


Passages related to gay liberation, from resolutions adopted by the LSA/LSO's full membership convention in April 1973.


A look at the powerful potential of the struggle to end gay oppression. This statement of the League for Socialist Action adopted in August 1976 rejects anti-gay theories and advocates a strategy of mass public action for gay rights.

by Stuart Russell, Duncan McLean, Thérèse Faubert, and Chris Bearchell

Changes advanced in the 1976 literary discussion on gay liberation in the LSA/LSO.

by John Riddell

A report arguing against the adoption of the amendments explaining the distinction between Marxist analysis in areas such as sexuality and the programmatic line of a revolutionary organization.

by Stuart Russell

A report supporting the adoption of the proposed amendments, offering a valuable and thought-provoking analysis of the nature of gay oppression and the requirements for full liberation.

by Duncan McLean and Thérèse Faubert

Two participants in the discussion give an issue-by-issue assessment and their conclusions on the LSA/LSO's clarified position on gay liberation.


A complete index to the individual contributions inside the LSA/LSO on gay liberation.

The Contributors:

Thérèse Faubert was born in 1951. She has been an active participant in the struggle to end gay oppression since 1971 when she marched in the first cross-country gay rights demonstration on Parliament Hill, Ottawa. She was an executive member of the Comite Homosexuel Contre la Repression which led Montreal’s gay community into the streets to force an end to the police "Olympic Clean-up" raids in 1972. She is a co-author of the pamphlet Women’s Liberation in Canada, and in the June 1977 Ontario provincial elections was the League for Socialist Action candidate against Premier William Davis in Brampton.

Duncan McLean was born in 1952. Radicalized by the sexual oppression of youth and experiences in Quebec, he joined the Young Socialists in 1969. In the fall of 1971 he was chairperson of the Student Action Committee on Amchitka, which initiated and led the massive high school’ walkouts and protest rallies against the Amchitka bomb. A member of the League for Socialist Action, McLean has taken part in the gay liberation movement in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto.

John Riddell was born in 1942 in Toronto. Won to the socialist movement in the late 1950s by the fight against nuclear war and the campaign to launch the New Democratic Party, he was a leader of the Young Socialists from 1960 to 1967. He is co-author of the pamphlet Should Socialists Support Canadian Nationalism? and coeditor of the book Prospects for a Socialist Canada. Since 1972, he has served as Executive Secretary of the LSA/LSO.

Stuart Russell was born in 1953. Joining the Young Socialists in 1971, he became a prominent figure in the campaigns for high school student rights in Vancouver. He played a central role in the anti-Amchitka bomb upsurge that swept through British Columbia schools in October 1971. For several years he was a regular correspondent for the bi-weekly, Labor Challenge. Active in the gay movement in Vancouver and Winnipeg, Russell went on to become a leading member of the Association pour les Droits des Gai(e)s du Quebec. He resigned from membership in the League for Socialist Action/Ligue Socialiste Ouvriere in January 1977.

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