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History of the Gay Rights and Gay Marriage

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People have different perspectives and walk of life. Sexuality is one issue in life where people differ in perspective and attitudes. It is also a highly controversial issue because quite a significant part of the global population does not appreciate homosexuality. As a result, gay people have for a long time, been discriminated against, and denied their rights. Gay people for many years did not have the privilege to own houses, had difficulties with getting employed, among other human rights. However, in the United States, a movement was initiated to defend gay rights. The laws that prevent homosexual activities such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) were shut down years later, after a long fight (Meyer, & Northridge, 2010). A permit was issued allowing individuals to serve in the military freely, without fear of discrimination (Meyer, & Northridge, 2010). Also, same-sex couples were allowed to marry each other freely and adopt children in all states. This article addresses the gay rights movement legalization in the United States in consideration of equality, transgender access to restrooms, and hates prevention act. Also, it outlines more on the aspect that transgender individuals have never had a mental illness.

History of the Gay Rights Movement in the U.S.

The Gay rights movement in the United States began in 1924 when Henry Gerber; A German immigrant who founded the society of human rights in Chicago (Adam et al., 2009). This movement was the first documented gay rights organization in the United States. His inspiration developed during his service in the army in World War II. The Scientific Humanitarian Committee was a group in Germany that sought to emancipate from the constraints that were given to the homosexual community. In this way, it also contributed to the establishment of society’s human rights organizations (Adam et al., 2009). Later, Henry’s group published a newsletter ‘friendship and freedom’ to address such issues and connect with other homosexuals. Unfortunately, the police became aware of the newsletter quickly and raided his home. Destroying all his belongings and taking his typewriter, no longer allowing him to write “friendship and freedom”.

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The Mattachine Foundation members reorganized the Mattachine Society. This organization contained other local chapters and later another gay publication in the U.S. was established. It was called The Mattachine Review and was published in 1955. While in the same year, in San Francisco four lesbian couples founded the daughters of Bilitis organization. This organization was useful as it announced ‘the ladder’ newsletter which was the first Lesbian publication. The early years of the gay rights movement faced issues such as being considered a mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, 1952. In addition to this, gay people were banned from federal jobs by President Dwight Eisenhower through the signing of an executive order.

The Supreme Court ruling on ‘one homosexual magazine’ is a landmark that ensured the LGBT rights in the United States were considered. This ruling was the first in the Supreme Court as it dealt with homosexuality cases. Also, it addressed freedom of speech rights concerning transgender cases. The ruling was viewed as a landmark and made legal within all fifty states. This magazine was launched in 1953 to talk specifically on homosexuality and ensured the details were well outlined (Abelove, Barale Michele, & Halperin, 1993). This magazine was developed to prevent issues of discrimination and equality of all individuals in the United States. The mattachine society ‘slip in’ also addressed the legalization of the lesbian and gay rights movement. This organization presented the magazine and newsletters that covered issues on LGBT.

Stonewall rights were established to catalyze the gay rights movements in 1969. Initially, the clandestine gay club Stonewall Inn was an institution in Greenwich Village. The organization was large, affordable, and offered dancing, welcomed homeless youths and drag queens. The police raided the Stonewall Inn on 28th June 1969 which resulted in rioting from its patrons. It also led to the public affirmation of homosexual identity. This movement analyzed the oppression and sexism of the gay community.

The early years of the gay rights movement faced many issues such as being considered a mental health disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Sigmund Freud, who is viewed as a pioneer in the psychological field claimed that homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed of as our sexual behaviors are different. To him, it should be regarded as normal sexual behavior among people, which society should consider void of discrimination. The civil rights legislation at the local, state and federal levels has offered a guarantee for the protection of homosexual citizens. In 1973, homosexuality was removed from the list of mental illnesses by APA, and the institution regarded the individuals to be normal.

The National march on Washington for lesbian and gay rights took effect in 1979. In this movement, many people rioted against legislation that hindered the LGBT community from their basic rights. This action resulted in the social change of the United States people as discrimination cases minimized. Audre Lorde who was an American writer and civil rights activist steered the strategy along with others into action, individuals in power had no option but to listen to the voices of the LGBT. The demonstration on this day involved roughly 200, 000 people.

The national democratic convention took a stance of support gay rights for the first time in 1980, to ensure the protection of human rights in the United States. The speakers at this convention embraced equal treatment based on gender identity and sexual orientation. However, during the convention, the transgender community was not mentioned. The fight was initially tough, but then with the Democratic Party addressing such issues was viewed as a win across the LGBT community.

The hate crimes prevention act was initiated to overcome the issues of the Stonewall riots. This act, also known as the Matthew Shepherd Act, was passed on 22nd October 2009 to cover the transgender bill (Hirshman, 2012). The act was signed by President Barack Obama to ensure protection against discrimination cases. This act covers discrimination cases based on sexual orientation for employees in the federal civilian workforce. It also included government employment in the United States. Overall, the act dealt with discrimination against employment, housing, financial, private, and public services. With The rate of transgender discrimination being very high in the United States, the hate crime prevention act helped in introducing legislation to help avoid such cases of oppression.

The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA) which became legal in 2018 ensures that transgender individuals are safe and can quickly work without oppression. While also protecting people about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

The Equality Act of 2015 was initiated to offer lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans complete federal equality regardless of their sexual orientation. With its goal being to address discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also amends Title VII of the right civil laws of 1964 to prevent discrimination cases on the aspect of marital status and sex (Hirshman, 2012). This act will be considered in many sectors, such as public accommodation, facilities, education sector, housing, financial services, and federally assisted programs. The act continues to stand for the gay community and ensures the equality of rights in all aspects of life. In addition to this, it opts to penalize any individual who discriminates against someone based on sexual orientation.

Same-sex marriage was considered legal on 26th June 2015 when the United States Supreme Court ensured that same-sex marriage was to be legal among all fifty states. However, the history of same-sex marriage commenced in the 1970s when the initial lawsuits brought into consideration the issue of civil marriage rights. Also, they expressed the benefits of same-sex couples to the public as people can quickly adopt children. This subject became more attractive following events in the Hawaii Supreme Court in 1993. The Supreme Court investigated that the prohibition of same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, the federal and state level considered the issue and introduced the defense of the marriage act. Massachusetts did the primary legislation of same-sex marriage on 17th May 2004 following the Supreme Court decision. This issue resulted in furthering the legalization of the gay rights movement. Thus, in 2014, same-sex marriage was considered roughly more than 70% of the United States population. The first states to legalize same-sex marriage involved Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

In 2016 the Obama Administration introduced easy access to toilets to public school restrooms. In Washington, Obama decided to issue a sweeping directive where all public institutions need to allow transgender students to use bathrooms according to their gender identity. The justice signed this declaration, stating that education department officials had to allow students to use the restroom they chose. In addition to this, this law was far from a threat as the lawbreakers to the Obama administrations will face lawsuits. The movement drew in fresh criticism mainly from the Republican party where the federal government is considering local matters of transgender (Schulman, 2018). Obama changed the civil rights landscape for lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and gays. Allowing transgender access to restrooms was merely to ensure no individual feels unwelcome at a school or college institution. Obama administration covers equality as whoever the person is he or she can have the opportunity to successful education in a free environment from discrimination, violence, and harassment.


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