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(September 1, 1949 - November 15, 2014)
Leslie identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist. She was a member of the National Committee of Worker’s World Party and managing editor of the Worker’s World newspaper.
“But divide-and-conquer ideology diverts the working class from realizing that the historic moment has ripened to unite to take
power. Understanding that solidarity is in the class interests of all who are exploited and oppressed is the key to revolutionary
That’s why we as communists see the struggle against lesbian, gay, bi and trans oppression as an essential component of the
Fighting all forms of oppression defends lives. And it also helps build unity in the struggle by revealing to the entire working
class the social and economic inequalities that are built into the capitalist system.
Fighting LGBT oppression is an ideological, social and economic battle.
When LGBT workers are denied same-sex benefits for their partners, they are being paid less than their co-workers, which drives down wages and benefits for all workers. The LGBT-led struggle for domestic partner benefits has helped win gains for unmarried heterosexual workers, as well.
LGBT workers have to cobble together an economic support system without the benefits bestowed on heterosexual families.
That’s why we support the right to same-sex marriage. We are not advocates for or against marriage—we say the state does not have the right to discriminate."
Excerpt from talk, "LGBT liberation: An essential working-class struggle", May 13, 2015
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