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The Gay Rights Movement And Freedom

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1556 words Published: 2nd May 2017

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Gay rights movement helped a lot of people feel free to be them-selves. Even though gay people are often frowned upon, gay people are just like everyone else. They are human beings wanting to be loved and cared for by another.

According to Stacy, “It is also important to define the gay rights movement as a whole. Research shows that “The gay rights movement comprises a collection of loosely aligned civil rights groups, human rights groups, support groups and political activists seeking acceptance, tolerance and equality for (homosexual, bisexual), and transgender people, and related causes” (Shaneyfelt, 2009). Although it is typically referred to as the gay rights movement, members also promote the rights of groups of individuals who do not necessarily identify as being gay” (http://www.aboutsociology.com/sociology/Gay_rights_movement).

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First of all, as you trace the history of this pivotal movement and devise a timeline, you might credit that the modern gay rights movement is considered by many critics to have originated with the “Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969” (http://www.pbs.org/niot/get_involved/Guide2/study_guide_II_final_23.html). Please note how the Stonewall riots marked the most dramatic event in the history of American homosexuality The riots made a major statement in terms of law enforcement. Because police raids on gay bars were routine, the riots protested these selective actions, “made it into national headlines and inspired resistance to such police raids in other cities” This resistance caused more activism to stir (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

According to Stacy, “As you also look at why Stonewall was so vital for gay rights, please note how it also marked “the first inter-generational gap in the homosexual community and the beginning of the break between gay society and lesbian society. Previous generations of homosexual men were more sexually conservative and preferred to keep their sexuality to themselves, the new generation was promiscuous and vocal. Lesbian society, like older gay male society, preferred to be more sexually conservative and private, so a gap began to emerge between the two groups” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

As you then examine the other implications on life currently in the 21st century, you might claim how changes involve activist groups that are advocates for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-gendered people, etc. Research shows that agencies and task forces such as the “National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), founded in 1973, which has worked to combat anti-gay violence and to improve the legal status of gay men and lesbians in the United States” (The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force).

Besides advocacy groups, the gay rights movement of the 60s also impacts currently life in the legal realm. For example, important advances in gay rights have been made since the 1960s in term of legislation. Research shows how “Several states have repealed laws that made homosexual acts illegal, despite the fact that in 1986 the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of such laws. Several states have also passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and other areas” (The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force).

As you further correlate how the sexual revolution in the 1960s in America played a role in empowering gay rights, you might look at how a change in the psychology of gay society had become gay militancy by 1969, much as the feminist and black movements had transformed” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

Again, as you look historically and move beyond this event, you might suggest how “In 1970, the gay power movement had reached such proportions that parades were held to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In the meantime, the Mattachine Society had sponsored homosexual liberation meetings and the Gay Liberation Front had been formed. The aim of the new organization was not to meekly show that homosexuals were acceptable” As a result, homosexuals became increasingly organized and concentrated in cities such as New York and San Francisco (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

Similarly, research in sociology also asserts that “A Gay Liberation Front was active in New York in the early 1970s. In the liberal political mainstream, gays and lesbians organized the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club in San Francisco in 1971” (Walls, 2008).

Just as there are many effects today from the historical movement such as pride days and parades, the 1970s also saw these types of events. Research reveals that “San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day parades drew large numbers in the late 1970s, and the first “National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights” was held in October 1979 (Research in sociology also asserts that “A Gay Liberation Front was active in New York in the early 1970s. In the liberal political mainstream, gays and lesbians organized the Alice B. Toklas Memorial Democratic Club in San Francisco in 1971” (Walls, 2008).

Other sociological effects are still felt in lobbying efforts today. Please note how the 1970s also was a time when “a set of national lobbying and legal defense groups as well as a political action committee” (http://www.sonoma.edu/users/w/wallsd/glbt-movement.shtml) occurred. A major goal was getting sodomy laws repealed in about half the states (Walls, 2008).

A major development in the movement also occurred in the 1980s. By 1980, most large cities had “at least one predominantly gay neighborhood” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

“These details above could justify your sociological approach. However, since you need a psychological standpoint, you might also interject how “The second most dramatic event in gay American history is the AIDS epidemic which began officially in 1981” (Shaneyfelt, 2009). “Although physical in nature, psychological ramifications also intertwine because many gays had to modify their philately upon sexuality. They initially “vehemently protested suggestions that they should curb their sexuality or use condoms until well into 1988. By that time, their lives and political position were in extreme danger” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

“When looking at other historical and psychological effects, research shows how AIDS became a symbol of oppression to gays, just as sodomy laws had been. To them, society had to put huge amounts of money into the disease or it was not adequately recognizing the needs of the gay community” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

“By 1990, the question of what caused homosexuality surfaced once again. The first theory is that it is cause either by a twist of genetics, a birth defect, or some sort of hormonal abnormality; in other words, it is biological. The second theory is that t something about a person’s socialization leads them to “choose” a homosexual lifestyle” (Shaneyfelt, 2009).

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Other implications of this event for life in the 21st century also include other aspects. Legally, the movement has been successful to repeal many sodomy laws were repealed in most American states, “and those that still remained were ruled unconstitutional in the June 2003 ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. Many companies and local governments have clauses in their nondiscrimination policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In some jurisdictions in the U.S., gay bashing is considered a hate crime and given a harsher penalty” (About Sociology, 2010).

Other sociological developments might also include same-sex marriages. Please note how “The U.S. state of Massachusetts allows same-sex marriage, and the states of Connecticut, Hawaii and Vermont provide the civil union as an alternative to marriage. However, in many states, laws and constitutional amendments have been passed forbidding any recognition of same-sex marriage. Virginia law, the most far-reaching, forbids recognition of any benefits similar to those of marriage between people of the same sex” (About Sociology, 2010).

Gay adoption increases marks another area where you can apply psychological and sociological implications on modern life. The movement of the 1960s made these rights possible. Research shows that “Recognizing that lesbians and gay men can be good parents, the vast majority of states no longer deny custody or visitation to a person based on sexual orientation. State agencies and courts now apply a “best interest of the child” standard to decide these cases. Under this approach, a person’s sexual orientation cannot be the basis for ending or limiting parent-child relationships unless it is demonstrated that it causes harm to a child — a claim that has been routinely disproved by social science research. Using this standard, more than 22 states to date have allowed lesbians and gay men to adopt children either through state-run or private adoption agencies” (Overview of Lesbian and Gay Parenting, Adoption and Foster Care , 1999).


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