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LGBT social movements

LGBT social movements

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender social movements share inter-related goals of social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities
Sexual minority
A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. The term was coined most likely in the late 1960s under the influence of Lars Ullerstam's ground breaking book "The Erotic Minorities: A Swedish View" which came...

. Lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

, gay, bisexual
Bisexuality
Bisexuality is sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females, especially with regard to men and women. It is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation, along with a heterosexual and a homosexual orientation, all a part of the...

, and transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 (LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

) people and their allies
Straight ally
Straight ally is a colloquial term that describes a heterosexual person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBTQ social movements, and challenges homophobia. A straight ally believes that LGBT people suffer discrimination and thus are socially disadvantaged...

 have a long history of campaigning for what is generally called LGBT rights, also called gay rights and gay and lesbian rights. Various communities have worked not only together, but also independent of each other in various configurations including gay liberation
Gay Liberation
Gay liberation is the name used to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand...

, lesbian feminism
Lesbian feminism
Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s , that questions the position of lesbians and women in society. It particularly refutes heteronormativity, the assumption that everyone is "straight" and society should be structured to serve...

, the queer
Queer
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT ...

 movement and transgender activism. There is no one organization representing all LGBT people and interests, although arguably two organizations come close; InterPride by coordinating and networking gay pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

 events worldwide, and International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission is a US-based international non-governmental organization that addresses human rights violations against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, intersexuals, transgender people and people with HIV/AIDS...

 (IGLHRC) which addresses human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 violations against LGBT and HIV
HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive...

-positive people and works with the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 are seen as broadly inclusive all LGBT communities and interests.

A commonly stated goal is social equality
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

 for LGBT people; some have also focused on building LGBT communities, or worked towards liberation for the broader society from sexual oppression
Sexual norm
A sexual norm can refer to a personal or a social norm. Most cultures have social norms regarding sexuality, and define normal sexuality to consist only of certain legal sex acts between individuals who meet specific criteria of age, consanguinity , race/ethnicity A sexual norm can refer to a...

. LGBT movements organized today are made up of a wide range of political activism
Activism
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 and cultural activity, such as lobbying
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 and street marches
Demonstration (people)
A demonstration or street protest is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers.Actions such as...

; social groups, support groups and community events; magazines, films and literature; academic research and writing; and even business activity.

Overview



Sociologist Mary Bernstein writes: "For the lesbian and gay movement, then, cultural goals include (but are not limited to) challenging dominant constructions of masculinity
Masculinity
Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

 and femininity
Femininity
Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Though socially constructed, femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors...

, homophobia
Homophobia
Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...

, and the primacy of the gendered heterosexual nuclear family
Nuclear family
Nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of a father and mother and their children. This is in contrast to the smaller single-parent family, and to the larger extended family. Nuclear families typically center on a married couple, but not always; the nuclear family may have...

 (heteronormativity
Heteronormativity
Heteronormativity is a term invented in 1991 to describe any of a set of lifestyle norms that hold that people fall into distinct and complementary genders with natural roles in life. It also holds that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation, and states that sexual and marital relations...

). Political goals include changing laws and policies in order to gain new rights
Rights
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

, benefits, and protections from harm." Bernstein emphasizes that activists seek both types of goals in both the civil and political spheres.

As with other social movements, there is also conflict within and between LGBT movements, especially about strategies for change and debates over exactly who comprises the constituency that these movements represent. There is debate over to what extent lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered people, intersexed people and others share common interests and a need to work together. Leaders of the lesbian and gay movement of the 1970s, 80s and 90s often attempted to hide masculine lesbians, feminine gay men, transgendered people, and bisexuals from the public eye, creating internal divisions within LGBT communities.

LGBT movements have often adopted a kind of identity politics
Identity politics
Identity politics are political arguments that focus upon the self interest and perspectives of self-identified social interest groups and ways in which people's politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through race, class, religion, sexual orientation or traditional dominance...

 that sees gay, bisexual and/or transgender people as a fixed class of people; a minority group
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 or groups. Those using this approach aspire to liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 political goals of freedom and equal opportunity
Equal opportunity
Equal opportunity, or equality of opportunity, is a controversial political concept; and an important informal decision-making standard without a precise definition involving fair choices within the public sphere...

, and aim to join the political mainstream on the same level as other groups in society. In arguing that sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 and gender identity
Gender identity
A gender identity is the way in which an individual self-identifies with a gender category, for example, as being either a man or a woman, or in some cases being neither, which can be distinct from biological sex. Basic gender identity is usually formed by age three and is extremely difficult to...

 are innate and cannot be consciously changed, attempts to change gay, lesbian and bisexual people into heterosexuals ("conversion therapy") are generally opposed by the LGBT community. Such attempts are often based in religious beliefs that perceive gay, lesbian and bisexual activity as immoral.

However, others within LGBT movements have criticised identity politics as limited and flawed, elements of the queer
Queer
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT ...

 movement have argued that the categories of gay and lesbian are restrictive, and attempted to deconstruct
Deconstruction
Deconstruction is a term introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1967 book Of Grammatology. Although he carefully avoided defining the term directly, he sought to apply Martin Heidegger's concept of Destruktion or Abbau, to textual reading...

 those categories, which are seen to "reinforce rather than challenge a cultural system that will always mark the nonheterosexual as inferior."

After the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 the anticlerical feeling in Catholic countries coupled with the liberalizing effect of the Napoleonic Code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

 made it possible to sweep away sodomy laws. However, in Protestant countries, where the tyranny of the church was less severe, there was no general reaction against statutes that were religious in origin. As a result, many of those countries retained their statutes on sodomy until late in the 20th century. The prominent Nazi jurist Rudolf Klare argued for the moral superiority of harsh anti-homosexual Teutonic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 traditions (such as Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and American states) over Latin countries (such as France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

) which no longer punished homosexual acts.

Before 1860


In eighteenth
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

 and nineteenth century Europe, same-sex sexual behaviour and cross-dressing
Cross-dressing
Cross-dressing is the wearing of clothing and other accoutrement commonly associated with a gender within a particular society that is seen as different than the one usually presented by the dresser...

 were widely considered to be socially unacceptable, and were serious crimes under sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

 and sumptuary law
Sumptuary law
Sumptuary laws are laws that attempt to regulate habits of consumption. Black's Law Dictionary defines them as "Laws made for the purpose of restraining luxury or extravagance, particularly against inordinate expenditures in the matter of apparel, food, furniture, etc." Traditionally, they were...

s. There were, however, some exceptions. For example, in the 17th century cross dressing was common in plays, as, for example, evident in the content of many of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

's plays (and by the actors in the actual performances, since female roles in Elizabethan Theater
English Renaissance theatre
English Renaissance theatre, also known as early modern English theatre, refers to the theatre of England, largely based in London, which occurred between the Reformation and the closure of the theatres in 1642...

 were always performed by males, usually prepubescent boys). And Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

's opera "Apollo et Hyacinthus
Apollo et Hyacinthus
Apollo et Hyacinthus is an opera, K. 38, written in 1767 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was 11 years old at the time. It is Mozart's first true opera . It is in three acts...

" was performed by males only, although the libretto differed from the original text of Ovidius to reduce homosexual relations among Apollon
Apollon
Apollon may refer to:* Apollo, ancient Greek god of light, healing and poetry* Apollon , Formula One constructor* Apollon Kalamarias, Greek football club* Apollon Athens, a Greek football club from Athens...

, Hyacinth
Hyacinth (mythology)
Hyacinth or Hyacinthus is a divine hero from Greek mythology. His cult at Amyclae, southwest of Sparta, where his tumulus was located— in classical times at the feet of Apollo's statue in the sanctuary that had been built round the burial mound— dates from the Mycenaean era...

us, and Zephyrus.

Many Native American cultures also widely respected individuals who, in today's terms, might have been transgender, bisexual or homosexual, stating that they embodied characteristics of both male and female counterparts.

Thomas Cannon
Thomas Cannon
Thomas Cannon was an English author of the 18th century. He wrote what may be the earliest published defence of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplify'd and may also have collaborated with John Cleland, author of Fanny Hill.A son of Robert Cannon, Dean...

 wrote what may be the earliest published defence of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplify'd (1749). Social reformer Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism...

 wrote the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around 1785, at a time when the legal penalty for buggery
Buggery
The British English term buggery is very close in meaning to the term sodomy, and is often used interchangeably in law and popular speech. It may be, also, a specific common law offence, encompassing both sodomy and bestiality.-In law:...

 was death by hanging. However, he feared reprisal, and his powerful essay was not published until 1978.

The emerging currents of secular humanist
Secular humanism
Secular Humanism, alternatively known as Humanism , is a secular philosophy that embraces human reason, ethics, justice, and the search for human fulfillment...

 thought which had inspired Bentham also informed the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, and when the newly-formed National Constituent Assembly
National Constituent Assembly
The National Constituent Assembly was formed from the National Assembly on 9 July 1789, during the first stages of the French Revolution. It dissolved on 30 September 1791 and was succeeded by the Legislative Assembly.-Background:...

 began drafting the policies and laws of the new republic in 1792, groups of militant 'sodomite-citizens' in Paris petitioned the Assemblée nationale, the governing body of the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, for freedom and recognition. In 1791 France became the first nation to decriminalise homosexuality, probably thanks in part to the homosexual Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès
Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès
Jean-Jacques-Régis de Cambacérès, 1st Duke of Parma was a French lawyer and statesman during the French Revolution and the First Empire, best remembered as the author of the Napoleonic code, which still forms the basis of French civil law.-Early career:Cambacérès was born in Montpellier, into a...

 who was one of the authors of the Napoleonic code
Napoleonic code
The Napoleonic Code — or Code Napoléon — is the French civil code, established under Napoléon I in 1804. The code forbade privileges based on birth, allowed freedom of religion, and specified that government jobs go to the most qualified...

.

In 1830, the new Penal Code of the Brazilian Empire
Brazilian Empire
The Empire of Brazil was a 19th-century state that broadly comprised the territories which form modern Brazil. Its government was a representative parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the rule of Emperors Dom Pedro I and his son Dom Pedro II, both members of the House of Braganza—a...

 did not repeat the title XIII of fifth book of the "Ordenações Philipinas", which made sodomy a crime.

In 1833, an anonymous English-language writer wrote a poetic defence of Captain Nicholas Nicholls, who had been sentenced to death in London for sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

:
Whence spring these inclinations, rank and strong?
And harming no one, wherefore call them wrong?


Three years later in Switzerland, Heinrich Hoessli published the first volume of Eros: Die Männerliebe der Griechen ("Eros: The Male-love of the Greeks"), another defence of same-sex love.

During that period, Poland
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 never criminalized homosexuality. 18th century Poland was marked by an Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

-driven tolerant attitude to sexuality, with public figures reported to engage in homosexual activities or transvestitism. Such "scandalous" events drew public attention, but did not result in prosecution. One example is Poland's last king, Stanislaw August Poniatowski
Stanislaw August Poniatowski
Stanisław II August Poniatowski was the last King and Grand Duke of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

, who was said to have slept with the British ambassador in his youth. After the partitions of Poland
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

 Polish territories came under control of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

; the law of those countries ruled homosexual acts illegal. Nevertheless, prominent figures were known to form homosexual relationships, including Narcyza Żmichowska
Narcyza Zmichowska
Narcyza Żmichowska , also known under the pseudonym Gabryella, was a Polish novelist and poet...

 (1819–1876), a writer and founder of the Polish feminist movement
Feminism in Poland
The history of feminism in Poland has traditionally been divided into seven "waves," beginning in the 19th century.-First wave :Feminist ideas reached Poland considerably later than other Western European countries – only in the 19th century...

, who used her private experiences in her writing.

1860–1944


From the 1870s, social reformers in other countries had begun to defend homosexuality, but their identities were kept secret. A secret British society called the "Order of Chaeronea
Order of Chaeronea
The Order of Chaeronea was a secret society for the cultivation of a homosexual moral, ethical, cultural and spiritual ethos. It was founded by George Cecil Ives in 1897, as a result of his realisation that homosexuals would not be accepted openly in society and must therefore have a means of...

" campaigned for the legalisation of homosexuality, and counted playwright Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

 among its members in the last decades of the 19th century. In the 1890s, English socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 poet Edward Carpenter
Edward Carpenter
Edward Carpenter was an English socialist poet, socialist philosopher, anthologist, and early gay activist....

 and Scottish anarchist
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 John Henry Mackay
John Henry Mackay
John Henry Mackay was an individualist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of Die Anarchisten and Der Freiheitsucher . Mackay was published in the United States in his friend Benjamin Tucker's magazine, Liberty...

 wrote in defense of same-sex love and androgyny
Androgyny
Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ- and γυνή , referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics...

; Carpenter and British homosexual rights advocate John Addington Symonds
John Addington Symonds
John Addington Symonds was an English poet and literary critic. Although he married and had a family, he was an early advocate of male love , which he believed could include pederastic as well as egalitarian relationships. He referred to it as l'amour de l'impossible...

 contributed to the development of Havelock Ellis
Havelock Ellis
Henry Havelock Ellis, known as Havelock Ellis , was a British physician and psychologist, writer, and social reformer who studied human sexuality. He was co-author of the first medical textbook in English on homosexuality in 1897, and also published works on a variety of sexual practices and...

's groundbreaking book Sexual Inversion, which called for tolerance towards "inverts" and was suppressed when first published in England.

In Europe and America, a broader movement of "free love
Free love
The term free love has been used to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery...

" was also emerging from the 1860s among first-wave feminists
First-wave feminism
First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the 19th and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. It focused on de jure inequalities, primarily on gaining women's suffrage .The term first-wave was coined retroactively in the 1970s...

 and radicals of the libertarian left. They critiqued Victorian sexual morality
Victorian morality
Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living at the time of Queen Victoria's reign and of the moral climate of the United Kingdom throughout the 19th century in general, which contrasted greatly with the morality of the previous Georgian period...

 and the traditional institutions of family and marriage that were seen to enslave women. Some advocates of free love in the early 20th century, including Russian anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman
Emma Goldman was an anarchist known for her political activism, writing and speeches. She played a pivotal role in the development of anarchist political philosophy in North America and Europe in the first half of the twentieth century....

, also spoke in defence of same-sex love and challenged repressive legislation.

In 1897, German doctor and writer Magnus Hirschfeld
Magnus Hirschfeld
Magnus Hirschfeld was a German physician and sexologist. An outspoken advocate for sexual minorities, Hirschfeld founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which Dustin Goltz called "the first advocacy for homosexual and transgender rights."-Early life:Hirschfeld was born in Kolberg in a...

 formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee
Scientific-Humanitarian Committee
The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee was founded in Berlin on the 14th or 15 May, 1897, to campaign for social recognition of homosexual, bisexual and transgender men and women, and against their legal persecution...

 to campaign publicly against the notorious law "Paragraph 175
Paragraph 175
Paragraph 175 was a provision of the German Criminal Code from 15 May 1871 to 10 March 1994. It made homosexual acts between males a crime, and in early revisions the provision also criminalized bestiality. All in all, around 140,000 men were convicted under the law.The statute was amended several...

", which made sex between men illegal. Adolf Brand
Adolf Brand
Adolf Brand was a German writer, individualist anarchist and pioneering campaigner for the acceptance of male bisexuality and homosexuality.-Biography:...

 later broke away from the group, disagreeing with Hirschfeld's medical view of the "intermediate sex", seeing male-male sex as merely an aspect of manly virility and male social bonding. Brand was the first to use "outing
Outing
Outing is the act of disclosing a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person's true sexual orientation or gender identity without that person's consent. Outing gives rise to issues of privacy, choice, hypocrisy, and harm in addition to sparking debate on what constitutes common good in efforts...

" as a political strategy, claiming that German Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow
Bernhard von Bülow
Bernhard Heinrich Karl Martin von Bülow , named in 1905 Prince von Bülow, was a German statesman who served as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for three years and then as Chancellor of the German Empire from 1900 to 1909.Bülow was described as possessing every quality except greatness...

 engaged in homosexual activity.


The 1901 book Sind es Frauen? Roman über das dritte Geschlecht (Are These Women? Novel about the Third Sex) by Aimée Duc was as much a political treatise
Treatise
A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.-Noteworthy treatises:...

 as a novel, criticising pathological theories of homosexuality and gender inversion in women. Anna Rüling, delivering a public speech in 1904 at the request of Hirschfeld, became the first female Uranian activist. Rüling, who also saw "men, women, and homosexuals" as three distinct genders, called for an alliance between the women's and sexual reform movements, but this speech is her only known contribution to the cause. Women only began to join the previously male-dominated sexual reform movement around 1910 when the German government tried to expand Paragraph 175 to outlaw sex between women. Heterosexual feminist leader Helene Stöcker
Helene Stöcker
Helene Stöcker was a German feminist, pacifist and sexual reformer. Stöcker was raised in a Calvinist household and attended a school for girls which emphasized rationality and morality...

 became a prominent figure in the movement. Friedrich Radszuweit
Friedrich Radszuweit
Friedrich Radszuweit was a German manager, publisher, and author.Radszuweit was born in Königsberg. He moved to Berlin in 1901 and opened a shop for women's clothes. In 1923, Radszuweit, who was gay, founded the organisation Bund für Menschenrecht E.V. , which worked for the rights of gay people...

 published LGBT literature and magazines in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 (for example "Die Freundin").

Hirschfeld, whose life was dedicated to social progress for people who were transsexual, transvestite and homosexual, formed the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
Institut für Sexualwissenschaft
The Institut für Sexualwissenschaft was an early private sexology research institute in Germany from 1919 to 1933. The name is variously translated as Institute of Sex Research, Institute for Sexology or Institute for the Science of Sexuality...

 (Institute for Sexology) in 1919. The institute conducted an enormous amount of research, saw thousands of transgender and homosexual clients at consultations, and championed a broad range of sexual reforms including sex education, contraception and women's rights. However, the gains made in Germany would soon be drastically reversed with the rise of Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

, and the institute and its library were destroyed in 1933. The Swiss journal Der Kreis was the only part of the movement to continue through the Nazi era.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 decriminalised homosexuality and recognised same-sex marriage. This was a remarkable step in Russia of the time – which was very backward economically and socially, and where many conservative attitudes towards sexuality prevailed. This step was part of a larger project of freeing sexual relationships and expanding women's rights – including legalising abortion, granting divorce on demand, equal rights for women, and attempts to socialise house-work. With the era of Stalin, however, Russia reverted all these progressive measures – re-criminalising homosexuality and imprisoning gay men and banning abortion.

In the United States, several secret or semi-secret groups were formed explicitly to advance the rights of homosexuals as early as the turn of the 20th century, but little is known about them. A better documented group is Henry Gerber
Henry Gerber
Henry Gerber was an early homosexual rights activist in the United States. Inspired by the work of Germany's Magnus Hirschfeld and his Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, Gerber founded the Society for Human Rights in 1924, the nation's first known homosexual organization, and Friendship and...

's The Society for Human Rights
The Society for Human Rights
The Society for Human Rights was an American homosexual rights organization established in Chicago in 1924. Society founder Henry Gerber was inspired to create the society by Germany's Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld and his work with the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee...

 formed in Chicago in 1924, which was quickly suppressed.


After 1918, the newly independent Polish state
Second Polish Republic
The Second Polish Republic, Second Commonwealth of Poland or interwar Poland refers to Poland between the two world wars; a period in Polish history in which Poland was restored as an independent state. Officially known as the Republic of Poland or the Commonwealth of Poland , the Polish state was...

 returned to the Napoleonic tradition and the 1932 criminal code did not specify homosexuality as a crime. The police still used gross indecency laws instead to harass homosexuals, but the gay community in Poland thrived, with many important public figures, such as the composer Karol Szymanowski
Karol Szymanowski
Karol Maciej Szymanowski was a Polish composer and pianist.-Life:Szymanowski was born into a wealthy land-owning Polish gentry family in Tymoszówka, then in the Russian Empire, now in Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine. He studied music privately with his father before going to Gustav Neuhaus'...

, the poet Bolesław Leśmian and the novelists Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz and Maria Dąbrowska
Maria Dabrowska
Maria Dąbrowska was a Polish writer.Dąbrowska was a member of the impoverished landed gentry. Interested both in literature and politics, she set herself up to help people born into poor circumstances. She studied sociology, philosophy, and natural sciences in Lausanne and Brussels and moved to...

 being of homosexual orientation. The German Nazi invasion
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

 of 1939 put an end to it.

1945–1968



Immediately following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, a number of homosexual rights groups came into being or were revived across the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, in Britain, France, Germany, Holland, the Scandinavian countries and the United States. These groups usually preferred the term "homophile" to "homosexual", emphasizing love over sex. The homophile movement began in the late 1940s with groups in the Netherlands and Denmark, and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s with groups in Sweden, Norway, the United States, France
Arcadie Club
The Arcadie Club was a French homophile organization established in the early 1950s by André Baudry, an ex-seminarian and philosophy professor.-Literary review:...

, Britain and elsewhere. ONE, Inc.
ONE, Inc.
ONE, Inc. was an early gay rights organization in the United States.The idea for a publication dedicated to homosexuals emerged from a Mattachine Society discussion meeting held on October 15, 1952....

, the first public homosexual organization in the U.S, was bankrolled by the wealthy transsexual man Reed Erickson
Reed Erickson
Reed Erickson was a transsexual man best known for his philanthropy.In 1964 he launched the Erickson Educational Foundation , a nonprofit philanthropic organization funded and controlled entirely by Erickson himself...

. A U.S. transgender-rights journal, Transvestia: The Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress, also published two issues in 1952.

The homophile movement lobbied to establish a prominent influence in political systems of social acceptability; radicals of the 1970s would later disparage the homophile groups for being assimilationist
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

. Any demonstrations were orderly and polite. By 1969, there were dozens of homophile organizations and publications in the U.S, and a national organization had been formed, but they were largely ignored by the media. A 1965 gay march held in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, according to some historians, marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Meanwhile in San Francisco in 1966, transgender street prostitutes in the poor neighborhood of Tenderloin
Tenderloin, San Francisco, California
The Tenderloin is a neighborhood in downtown San Francisco, California, in the flatlands on the southern slope of Nob Hill, nestled between the Union Square shopping district to the northeast and the Civic Center office district to the southwest...

 rioted against police harassment at a popular all-night restaurant, Gene Compton's Cafeteria.
Compton's cafeteria riot
The Compton's Cafeteria Riot occurred in August 1966 in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. This incident was one of the first recorded transgender riots in United States history, preceding the more famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.A smaller-scale riot broke out in 1959 in Los...



After the introduction of Soviet-style communism to Poland, the 1948 law stated that the age of consent
Age of consent
While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes, when used in relation to sexual activity, the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts. The European Union calls it the legal age for sexual...

 for all sexual acts, homosexual or heterosexual, was 15. However, the powerful influence of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 made open homosexuality a matter of scandal. While a gay poet Grzegorz Musiał could publish officially, Jerzy Andrzejewski
Jerzy Andrzejewski
Jerzy Andrzejewski was a prolific Polish author. His novels, Ashes and Diamonds , and Holy Week , have been made into film adaptations by the Oscar-winning Polish director Andrzej Wajda...

's last novel dealing with the subject of homosexuality was censored. While the gay subculture grew, with official and underground press alike discussing the subject of homosexuality, the traditionally conservative attitudes towards sexuality were used by the secret police to harass and put pressure on individuals.

1969–1974


The new social movements
New social movements
The term new social movements is a theory of social movements that attempts to explain the plethora of new movements that have come up in various western societies roughly since the mid-1960s which are claimed to depart significantly from the conventional social movement paradigm.There are two...

 of the sixties, such as the Black Power
Black Power
Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States...

 and anti-Vietnam war
Opposition to the Vietnam War
The movement against US involvment in the in Vietnam War began in the United States with demonstrations in 1964 and grew in strength in later years. The US became polarized between those who advocated continued involvement in Vietnam, and those who wanted peace. Peace movements consisted largely of...

 movements in the U.S, the May 1968 insurrection in France, and Women's Liberation
Feminist movement
The feminist movement refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual harassment and sexual violence...

 throughout the Western world, inspired some LGBT activists to become more radical, and the Gay Liberation Movement
Gay Liberation
Gay liberation is the name used to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand...

 emerged towards the end of the decade. This new radicalism is often attributed to the Stonewall riots
Stonewall riots
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City...

 of 1969, when a group of transsexual, butch/femme lesbians, drag queens and gay male patrons at a bar in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 resisted a police raid. Although Gay Liberation was already underway, Stonewall certainly provided a rallying point for the fledgling movement.

Immediately after Stonewall, such groups as the Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front was the name of a number of Gay Liberation groups, the first of which was formed in New York City in 1969, immediately after the Stonewall riots, in which police clashed with gay demonstrators.-The Gay Liberation Front:...

 (GLF) and the Gay Activists' Alliance
Gay Activists' Alliance
The Gay Activists Alliance was founded in New York City on December 21, 1969, after the Stonewall riots, by dissident members of the Gay Liberation Front . Some early members included Jim Owles, Marty Robinson, Kay Lahusen, Arthur Bell, Arthur Evans, Sylvia Rae Rivera, Marsha P...

 (GAA) were formed. Their use of the word "gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

" represented a new unapologetic defiance — as an antonym for "straight" ('respectable sexual behaviour'), it encompassed a range of non-normative sexualities and gender expressions, such as transgender street prostitutes, and sought ultimately to free the bisexual potential in everyone, rendering obsolete the categories of homosexual and heterosexual. According to Gay Lib writer Toby Marotta, "their Gay political outlooks were not homophile but liberationist". "Out, loud and proud", they engaged in colourful street theatre
Street theatre
Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are...

. The GLF’s "A Gay Manifesto" set out the aims for the fledgling gay liberation movement, and influential intellectual Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman (writer)
Paul Goodman was an American sociologist, poet, writer, anarchist, and public intellectual. Goodman is now mainly remembered as the author of Growing Up Absurd and an activist on the pacifist Left in the 1960s and an inspiration to that era's student movement...

 published “The Politics of Being Queer” (1969).

Chapters of the GLF were established across the U.S. and in other parts of the Western world. The Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionnaire
Front homosexuel d'action révolutionnaire
The front homosexuel d'action révolutionnaire was a loose Parisian movement founded in 1971, resulting from a rapprochement between lesbian feminists and gay activists. If the movement could be considered to have leaders, they were Guy Hocquenghem and Françoise d'Eaubonne, while other members...

 was formed in 1971 by lesbians who split from the Mouvement Homophile de France.

One of the values of the movement was gay pride
Gay pride
LGBT pride or gay pride is the concept that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should be proud of their sexual orientation and gender identity...

. Within weeks of the Stonewall Riots, Craig Rodwell, proprieter of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in lower Manhattan, was working to commemorate them by replacing the Annual Reminder, which had been held annually in at Independence Hall in Philadelphia since 1965, with a celebration of the Stonewall Riots. In September 1969, Rodwell and local lesbian allies led by Ellen Broidy, attended an Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) meeting in Philadelphia and got it to vote to replace the Fourth of July Annual Reminder at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, which ERCHO had been sponsoring since 1965, with a first commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. Rodwell and the committee he assembled to organize this event spent the next nine months assembling the first end-of-June commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. Other liberation groups that had been formed during the previous year—-consecutively, the Gay Liberation Front, Queens, the Gay Activists Alliance, Radicalesbians, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR)—-asked for an opportunity to hold officially recommended commemorative events of their own. Rodwell and his committee accommodated them by organizing the first Gay Pride Week. The secretary of their planning committee circulated copies of their meeting minutes to movement leaders in cities throughout the country. Los Angeles held a big parade on the first Gay Pride Day. Smaller demonstrations were held in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.
(Toby Marotta).

Organized by an early GLF
Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front was the name of a number of Gay Liberation groups, the first of which was formed in New York City in 1969, immediately after the Stonewall riots, in which police clashed with gay demonstrators.-The Gay Liberation Front:...

 leader Brenda Howard
Brenda Howard
Brenda Howard was an American bisexual rights activist and sex-positive feminist. Howard was an important figure in the modern LGBT rights movement.- Biography :...

, the Stonewall riots were commemorated by annual marches that became known as Gay pride parade
Gay pride parade
Pride parades for the LGBT community are events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage...

s. From 1970 activists protested the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, and the most influential worldwide. Its some 38,000 members are mainly American but some are international...

 in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders...

, and in 1974 it was replaced with a category of "sexual orientation disturbance" then "ego-dystonic homosexuality", which was also deleted, although "gender identity disorder
Gender identity disorder
Gender identity disorder is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant gender dysphoria . It describes the symptoms related to transsexualism, as well as less severe manifestations of gender dysphoria...

" remains.

Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 became first country in the world to allow people who were transsexual by legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

 to correct their sex in 1972, and provides free hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy (male-to-female)
Hormone replacement therapy for transgender and transsexual people changes the balance of sex hormones in their bodies. Some intersex people also receive HRT, either starting in childhood to confirm the sex to which they were assigned, or later, if this assignment has proven to be incorrect...

, equal age of consent set at 15.

1975–1986


From the anarchistic Gay Liberation Movement of the early 1970s arose a more reformist
Reformism
Reformism is the belief that gradual democratic changes in a society can ultimately change a society's fundamental economic relations and political structures...

 and single-issue "Gay Rights Movement", which portrayed gays and lesbians as a minority group
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 and used the language of civil rights — in many respects continuing the work of the homophile period. In Berlin, for example, the radical Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin was eclipsed by the Allgemeine Homosexuelle Arbeitsgemeinschaft.

Gay and lesbian rights advocates argued that one’s sexual orientation does not reflect on one’s gender; that is, “you can be a man and desire a man... without any implications for your gender identity as a man,” and the same is true if you are a woman. Gays and lesbians were presented as identical to heterosexuals in all ways but private sexual practices, and butch "bar dykes" and flamboyant "street queens" were seen as negative stereotypes of lesbians and gays. Veteran activists such as Sylvia Rivera
Sylvia Rivera
Sylvia Rae Rivera was an American transgender activist. Rivera was a founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance and helped found STAR , a group dedicated to helping homeless young street trans women, with her friend Marsha P...

 and Beth Elliot were sidelined or expelled because they were transgender.

In 1977, a former Miss America contestant and orange juice spokesperson, Anita Bryant
Anita Bryant
Anita Jane Bryant is an American singer, former Miss Oklahoma beauty pageant winner, and gay rights opponent. She scored four Top 40 hits in the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Paper Roses", which reached #5...

, began a campaign "Save Our Children", in Dade County, Florida (greater Miami), which proved to be a major set-back in the Gay Liberation movement. Essentially, she established an organization which put forth an amendment to the laws of the county which resulted in the firing of many public school teachers on the suspicion that they were homosexual.

In 1979, a number of people in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 called in sick with a case of being homosexual, in protest of homosexuality being classified as an illness. This was followed by an activist occupation of the main office of the National Board of Health and Welfare. Within a few months, Sweden became the first country in the world to remove homosexuality as an illness.

Lesbian feminism
Lesbian feminism
Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s , that questions the position of lesbians and women in society. It particularly refutes heteronormativity, the assumption that everyone is "straight" and society should be structured to serve...

, which was most influential from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, encouraged women to direct their energies toward other women rather than men, and advocated lesbianism as the logical result of feminism. As with Gay Liberation, this understanding of the lesbian potential in all women was at odds with the minority-rights framework of the Gay Rights movement. Many women of the Gay Liberation movement felt frustrated at the domination of the movement by men and formed separate organisations; some who felt gender differences between men and women could not be resolved developed "lesbian separatism", influenced by writings such as Jill Johnston
Jill Johnston
Jill Johnston was an American feminist author and cultural critic who wrote Lesbian Nation in 1973 and was a longtime writer for The Village Voice. She was also a leader of the lesbian separatist movement of the 1970s. Johnston also wrote under the pen name F. J...

's 1973 book Lesbian Nation. Disagreements between different political philosophies were, at times, extremely heated, and became known as the lesbian sex wars, clashing in particular over views on sadomasochism, prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

 and transsexuality
Transsexualism
Transsexualism is an individual's identification with a gender inconsistent or not culturally associated with their biological sex. Simply put, it defines a person whose biological birth sex conflicts with their psychological gender...

. The term "gay" came to be more strongly associated with homosexual males.

In Canada, the coming into effect of Section 15
Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Section Fifteen of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains guaranteed equality rights. As part of the Constitution, the section prohibits certain forms of discrimination perpetrated by the governments of Canada with the exception of ameliorative programs and rights or privileges...

 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982...

 in 1985 saw a shift in the gay rights movement in Canada, as Canadian gays and lesbians moved from liberation to litigious strategies. Premised on Charter protections and on the notion of the immutability of homosexuality, judicial rulings rapidly advanced rights, including those that compelled the Canadian government to legalize same-sex marriage. It has been argued that while this strategy was extremely effective in advancing the safety, dignity and equality of Canadian homosexuals, its emphasis of sameness came at the expense of difference and may have undermined opportunities for more meaningful change.


Mark Segal, an early member of Gay Liberation, has continued to pave the road of gay equality. Many [who?] refer to Mark Segal as the dean of American gay journalism. As a pioneer of the local gay press movement, he was one of the founders and former president of both The National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. He also is the founder and publisher of the award-winning Philadelphia Gay News. As a young gay activist, Segal understood the power of media. In 1973 Segal disrupted the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

, an event covered in newspapers across the country and viewed by 60% of American households, many seeing or hearing about homosexuality for the first time. Before the networks agreed to put a stop to censorship and bias in the news division, Segal went on to disrupt The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954. It is the longest currently running regularly scheduled entertainment program in the United States, and the third longest-running show on NBC, after Meet the Press and Today.The Tonight Show has been hosted by...

 with Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson
John William "Johnny" Carson was an American television host and comedian, known as host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years . Carson received six Emmy Awards including the Governor Award and a 1985 Peabody Award; he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987...

, and Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters
Barbara Jill Walters is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. She has hosted morning television shows , the television newsmagazine , former co-anchor of the ABC Evening News, and current contributor to ABC News.Walters was first known as a popular TV morning news...

 on The Today Show. The trade newspaper Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

claimed that Segal had cost the industry $750,000 in production, tape delays and lost advertising revenue.

Aside from publishing, Segal has also reported on gay life from far reaching places as Lebanon, Cuba, and East Berlin during the fall of the Berlin Wall. He and Bob Ross, former publisher of San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter
Bay Area Reporter
The Bay Area Reporter is a free weekly newspaper serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities in the San Francisco Bay Area; it is the oldest-continuously published, and one of the largest LGBT newspapers in the United States....

 represented the gay press and lectured in Moscow and St. Petersburg at Russia's first openly gay conference, referred to as Russia's Stonewall. He recently coordinated a network of local gay publications nationally to celebrate October as gay history month, with a combined print run reaching over a half million people. His determination to gain acceptance and respect for the gay press can be summed up by his 15 year battle to gain membership in the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, one of the nation's oldest and most respected organizations for daily and weekly newspapers. The 15 year battled ended after the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette joined forces and called for PGN's membership. Today Segal sits on the Board of Directors of PNA. In 2005, he produced Philadelphia's official July 4 concert for a crowd estimated at 500,000 people. The star-studded show featured Sir Elton John, Pattie Labelle, Bryan Adams, and Rufus Wainwright. On a recent anniversary of PGN an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer stated "Segal and PGN continue to step up admirably to the challenge set for newspapers by H.L. Menchen. "To afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted."

1987 – present



Some historians consider that a new era of the gay rights movement began in the 1980s with the emergence of AIDS
AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

, which decimated the leadership and shifted the focus for many. This era saw a resurgence of militancy with direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 groups like AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and...

 (ACT UP) (formed in 1987), and its offshoots Queer Nation
Queer Nation
Queer Nation was an organization founded in March 1990 in New York City, USA by AIDS activists from ACT UP. The four founders were outraged at the escalation of anti-gay and lesbian violence on the streets and prejudice in the arts and media...

 (1990) and the Lesbian Avengers
Lesbian Avengers
The Lesbian Avengers began in New York City in 1992 as "a direct action group focused on issues vital to lesbian survival and visibility." Dozens of other chapters quickly emerged worldwide, a few expanding their mission to include questions of gender, race, and class.Though some groups continue...

 (1992). Some younger activists, seeing "gay and lesbian" as increasingly normative and politically conservative, began using queer
Queer
Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary. In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT ...

as a defiant statement of all sexual minorities
Sexual minority
A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. The term was coined most likely in the late 1960s under the influence of Lars Ullerstam's ground breaking book "The Erotic Minorities: A Swedish View" which came...

 and gender variant people — just as the earlier liberationists had done with gay. Less confrontational terms that attempt to reunite the interests of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transpeople also became prominent, including various acronyms
Acronym and initialism
Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word. These components may be individual letters or parts of words . There is no universal agreement on the precise definition of the various terms , nor on written usage...

 like LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

, LGBTQ, and LGBTI, where the Q and I stand for Questioning
Questioning (sexuality and gender)
The questioning of one's gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, or all three is a process of exploration by people who may be unsure, still exploring, and concerned about applying a social label to themselves for various reasons...

 and Intersex
Intersex
Intersex, in humans and other animals, is the presence of intermediate or atypical combinations of physical features that usually distinguish female from male...

 respectively.

In the 1990s, organizations began to spring up in non-western countries, such as Progay Philippines, which was founded in 1993 and organized the first Gay Pride march in Asia on June 26, 1994. In many countries, LGBT organizations remain illegal and transsexual, transgender and homosexual activists face extreme opposition from the state. The 1990s also saw the emergence of many LGBT youth movements and organizations such as LGBT youth centers, Gay-straight alliance
Gay-straight alliance
Gay–straight alliances are student organizations, found primarily in North American high schools and universities, that are intended to provide a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and their straight allies .-Goal:The goal of most, if not all,...

s in high schools and youth specific activism such as the National Day of Silence.

The 1990s also saw a rapid push of the transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 movements, while at the same time a sidelining of the identity of those who are transsexual. In the English-speaking world, Leslie Feinberg
Leslie Feinberg
Leslie Feinberg is a transgender queer and communist activist, speaker, and author. Feinberg's first novel Stone Butch Blues is widely considered a groundbreaking work about gender.- Career :...

's, "Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come — The Story of Ben Wells", published in 1992. In 1993 Cheryl Chase
Cheryl Chase (activist)
Bo Laurent, better known by her pseudonym Cheryl Chase , is an American intersex activist and the founder of the Intersex Society of North America...

 founded the Intersex Society of North America
Intersex Society of North America
The Intersex Society of North America was a non-profit advocacy group founded in 1993 by Cheryl Chase to represent the interest of intersex people. Their objective was to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries...

. Gender different peoples across the globe also formed minority rights movements – Hijra
Hijra (South Asia)
In the culture of South Asia, hijras or chakka in Kannada, khusra in Punjabi and kojja in Telugu are physiological males who have feminine gender identity, women's clothing and other feminine gender roles. Hijras have a long recorded history in the Indian subcontinent, from the antiquity, as...

 activists campaigned for recognition as a third sex
Third gender
The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are categorized as neither man nor woman, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders...

 in India and Travesti
Travesti
In cultures of South America, a is a person who was born male, has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to non-feminine men . In South America the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation isn't usually made.In french countries, Travesti means anyone who...

 groups began to organize against police brutality across Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, while activists in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 formed direct-confrontation groups such as Transexual Menace.

In many cases, LGBTI rights movements came to focus on questions of intersectionality
Intersectionality
Intersectionality is a feminist sociological theory first highlighted by Kimberlé Crenshaw . Intersectionality is a methodology of studying "the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of social relationships and subject formations"...

, the interplay of oppressions arising from being both queer and underclass
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...

, colored
Colored
Colored is a term once widely used in the United States to describe black people and Native Americans...

, disabled, etc.

The Netherlands
Same-sex marriage in the Netherlands
Same-sex marriage has been legal in the Netherlands since 1 April 2001...

 was the first country to allow same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

, in 2001. As of today, same-sex marriages are also legal in Sweden
Same-sex marriage in Sweden
Same-sex marriage in Sweden has been legal since 1 May 2009, following the adoption of a new, gender-neutral law on marriage by the Swedish parliament on 1 April 2009, making Sweden the seventh country in the world to open marriage to same sex couples nationwide...

, Argentina, Iceland, Belgium
Same-sex marriage in Belgium
On June 1, 2003, Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriage, with some restrictions. Originally, Belgium allowed the marriages of foreign same-sex couples only if their country of origin also allowed these unions...

, Canada
Same-sex marriage in Canada
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition...

, Norway
Same-sex marriage in Norway
Same-sex marriage became legal in Norway on January 1, 2009 when a gender neutral marriage bill was enacted after being passed by the Norwegian legislature in June 2008...

, South Africa
Same-sex marriage in South Africa
Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 30 November 2006, when the Civil Union Act, 2006 came into force, having been passed by Parliament earlier that month. A ruling by the Constitutional Court on 1 December 2005 had given Parliament one year to make same-sex marriage legal...

, Spain
Same-sex marriage in Spain
Same-sex marriage in Spain has been legal since July 3, 2005. In 2004, the nation's newly elected social democratic government, led by President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, began a campaign for its legalization, including the right of adoption by same-sex couples...

, and Portugal
Same-sex marriage in Portugal
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Portugal since June 5, 2010. The government of Prime Minister José Sócrates introduced a bill for legalization in December 2009; it was passed by the Assembly of the Republic in February 2010. The bill was declared legally valid by the Portuguese Constitutional...

, along with six states in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

: Massachusetts
Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Massachusetts began on May 17, 2004, as a result of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health that it was unconstitutional under the Massachusetts constitution to allow only heterosexual couples to marry...

, Iowa
Same-sex marriage in Iowa
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of Iowa became legal on April 3, 2009.Iowa's first dealings with same-sex marriage came in 1998, after recent court cases on same-sex unions, starting in Hawaii, found that denying the right to marry to same-sex couples was incompatible with the Equal Protection...

, Connecticut
Same-sex marriage in Connecticut
Connecticut joined Massachusetts as one of two states in the U.S. to perform marriages of same-sex couples on November 12, 2008. Connecticut was the third state to do so, but only the second where the decision was not repealed.-Civil union:...

, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York
Same-sex marriage in New York
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed on June 24, 2011, by the New York State Legislature and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day...

, as well as the District of Columbia. During this same period, some municipalities have been enacting laws against homosexuality. E.g., Rhea County, Tennessee
Rhea County, Tennessee
Rhea County is a county located in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of 2000, the population was 28,400. Its county seat is Dayton.-Geography:According to the U.S...

 unsuccessfully tried to "ban homosexuals" in 2006.

From 6 to 9 November 2006, The Yogyakarta Principles on application of international human rights law
International human rights law
International human rights law refers to the body of international law designed to promote and protect human rights at the international, regional and domestic levels...

 in relation to sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 and gender identity
Gender identity
A gender identity is the way in which an individual self-identifies with a gender category, for example, as being either a man or a woman, or in some cases being neither, which can be distinct from biological sex. Basic gender identity is usually formed by age three and is extremely difficult to...

 was adopted by international meetig of 29 specialists, International Commission of Jurists
International Commission of Jurists
The International Commission of Jurists is an international human rights non-governmental organization. The Commission itself is a standing group of 60 eminent jurists , including members of the senior judiciary in Australia, Canada, and South Africa and the former UN High Commissioner for Human...

 and International Service for Human Rights
International Service for Human Rights
The International Service for Human Rights is a Geneva- and New York-based human rights NGO that specializes in providing training, information and advice for defenders of human rights worldwide. Established in 1984, ISHR provides information on both international and regional human rights law...

.
On 13 December 2008, UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity
UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity
Since its founding in 1945, the United Nations has not touched on the issue of sexual orientation or gender identity until December of 2008, when a Dutch/French-initiated, European Union-backed statement was presented to the United Nations General Assembly. The statement, originally intended to be...

 was adopted by United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

. And on August 2010, Yogyakarta Principles in Action
Yogyakarta Principles in Action
Yogyakarta Principles in Action is a movement for activists and human rights defenders to promote human rights, especially those of LGBTI around the Yogyakarta Principles, supported by ARC International, Hivos and Dreilinden Gesellschaft für gemeinnütziges Privatkapitel, Germany.They published the...

 published "An Activist's Guide" for activists and human rights defenders.

On 22 October 2009, the assembly of the Church of Sweden
Church of Sweden
The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian church in Sweden. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Porvoo Communion. With 6,589,769 baptized members, it is the largest Lutheran church in the world, although combined, there are more Lutherans in the member churches of...

, voted strongly in favour of giving its blessing to homosexual couples., including the use of the term marriage, ("matrimony"). The new law was introduced on November 1, 2009 and is the first case in the world.

In 2010 in the U.S. an ad campaign was launched to inform people not to use the term "that's so gay" to mean "that's so stupid", claiming that it is offensive.

On 11 June 2010, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a unanimous vote: 49-0.

On July 2010, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.

On December 18, 2010, "Don't ask, don't tell," the 1993 law forbidding homosexual people from serving openly in the United States military, was repealed. This meant that gays and lesbians could now serve openly in the military without any fear of being discharged because of their sexual orientation.

Opposition



LGBT movements are opposed by a variety of individuals and organizations., They may have a personal, moral, political or religious objection to gay rights, homosexual relations or gay people. Opponents have said same-sex relationships are not marriages, that legalization of same-sex marriage will open the door for the legalization of polygamy, that it is unnatural and that it encourages unhealthy behavior. Some social conservatives believe that all sexual relationships with people other than an opposite-sex spouse undermines the traditional family and that children should be reared in homes with both a father and a mother. The 1990s saw the establishment of the ex-gay
Ex-gay
The ex-gay movement consists of people and organizations that seek to get people to refrain from entering or pursuing same-sex relationships, to eliminate homosexual desires, to develop heterosexual desires, or to enter into a heterosexual relationship...

 movement.

There is also concern that gay rights may conflict with individuals' freedom of speech, religious freedoms in the workplace, and the ability to run churches, charitable organizations and other religious organizations that hold opposing social and cultural views to LGBT rights. There is also concern that religious organizations might be forced to accept and perform same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

s or risk losing their tax-exempt status.

Eric Rofes
Eric Rofes
Eric Rofes was a gay activist, feminist, educator, and author who wrote or edited 12 books.-Life and works:Rofes grew up in Commack, New York and he graduated from Harvard University...

 author of the book, A Radical Rethinking of Sexuality and Schooling: Status Quo or Status Queer?, argues that the inclusion of teachings on homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 in public schools will play an important role in transforming public ideas about lesbian and gay individuals. As a former teacher in the public school system, Rofes recounts how he was fired from his teaching position after making the decision to come out as gay. As a result of the stigma that he faced as a gay teacher he emphasizes the necessity of the public to take radical
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

 approaches to making significant changes in public attitudes about homosexuality. According to Rofes, radical approaches are grounded in the belief that "something fundamental needs to be transformed for authentic and sweeping changes to occur."The radical approaches proposed by Rofes have been met with strong opposition from anti-gay rights
LGBT rights opposition
LGBT rights opposition refers to active opposition to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights. Organizations influential in LGBT rights opposition frequently challenge judicial rulings, and legislative initiatives, and dispute findings that sexual orientation is an immutable...

 activists such as John Briggs
John Briggs (politician)
John V. Briggs is a retired California state politician who served in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. He is perhaps best known for sponsoring Proposition 6 in 1978, also known as the Briggs Initiative, which attempted to remove all gay or lesbian school employees or...

. Former California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 senator, John Briggs proposed Proposition 6, a ballot initiative that would require that all California state public schools fire any gay or lesbian teachers or counselors, along with any faculty that displayed support for gay rights in an effort to prevent what he believe to be " the corruption of the children's minds". The exclusion of homosexuality from the sexual education curriculum, in addition to the absence of sexual counseling programs in public schools, has resulted in increased feelings of isolation and alienation for gay and lesbian students who desire to have gay counseling programs that will help them come to terms with their sexual orientation. Eric Rofes founder of youth homosexual programs,such as Out There
Out There
Out There is a Logie winning, Australian made television show, following the trials and tribulations of an American high school boy named Reilly who moves to Australia from Connecticut as his father flees the authorities...

 and Committee for Gay Youth, stresses the importance of having support programs that help youth learn to identify with their sexual orientation.

David Campos
David Campos
David Campos , is a Guatemalan-American attorney and member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing District 9. The district consists of Bernal Heights, part of Portola and the Inner Mission and it elected him on November 4, 2008 in the 2008 San Francisco elections.-Early life and...

, author of the book, Sex, Youth, and Sex Education: A Reference Handbook, illuminates the argument proposed by proponents of sexual education programs in public schools. Many gay rights supporters argue that teachings about the diverse sexual orientations that exist outside of heterosexuality
Heterosexuality
Heterosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, physical or romantic attractions to persons of the opposite sex";...

 are pertinent to creating students that are well informed about the world around them. However, Campos also acknowledges that the sex education curriculum alone cannot teach youth about factors associated with sexual orientation but instead he suggests that schools implement policies that create safe school learning environments and foster support for gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 and lesbian
Lesbian
Lesbian is a term most widely used in the English language to describe sexual and romantic desire between females. The word may be used as a noun, to refer to women who identify themselves or who are characterized by others as having the primary attribute of female homosexuality, or as an...

, bisexual, and transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 youth. It is his belief that schools that provide unbiased, factual information about sexual orientation, along with supportive counseling programs for these homosexual youth will transform the way society treats homosexuality.
Many opponents of LGBT social movements have attributed their indifference toward homosexuality as being a result of the immoral values that it may instill in children who are exposed to homosexual individuals. In opposition to this claim, many proponents of increased education about homosexuality suggest that educators should refrain from teaching about sexuality
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

 in schools entirely. In her book entitled "Gay and Lesbian Movement", Margaret Cruickshank
Margaret Cruickshank
Dr Margaret Barnett Cruickshank was the first registered female doctor in New Zealand.-Biography:Cruickshank attended the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine and was the second woman, following Emily Siedeberg, in New Zealand to complete medical school. During World War I she organised...

 provides statistical data from the Harris and Yankelvoich polls
Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive , headquartered in New York, New York, is a custom market research firm, known for the Harris Poll. Harris works in a wide range of industries...

 which confirmed that over 80% of American adults believe that students should be educated about sexuality within their public school. In addition, the poll also found that 75% of parents believe that homosexuality and abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 should be included in the curriculum as well. An assessment conducted on California public school systems discovered that only 2% of all parents actually disproved of their child being taught about sexuality in school.

Overall, education has a consistent positive impact on support for same sex marriage, and African Americans statistically have lower rates of educational attainment. However, the education level of African Americans does not have as much significance on their attitude towards same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 as it does on white attitudes. Educational attainment among whites has a significant positive effect on support for same-sex marriage, whereas the direct effect of education among African Americans is less significant. White income level has a direct and positive correlation with support for same-sex marriage, but African American income level is not significantly associated with attitudes toward same-sex marriage.

Location also affects ideas towards same-sex marriage; residents of rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 and southern areas are significantly more opposed to same-sex marriage in comparison to residents elsewhere. Women are consistently more supportive than men of LGBT rights, and individuals that are divorced or have never married are also more likely to grant marital rights to same-sex couples than married or widowed individuals. Also, white women are significantly more supportive than white men, but there are no gender discrepancies among African Americans. The year in which one was born is a strong indicator of attitude towards same-sex marriage—generations born after 1946 are considerably more supportive of same-sex marriage than older generations. Statistics show that African Americans are more opposed to same-sex marriage than any other ethnicity.

Studies show that Non-Protestants are much more likely to support same-sex unions than Protestants; 63% of African Americans claim that they are Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 or Protestant, whereas only 30% of white Americans are. Religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

, as measured by individuals’ religious affiliations, behaviors, and beliefs, has a lot of influence in structuring same-sex union attitudes and consistently influences opinions about homosexuality. The most liberal attitudes are generally reflected by Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

, liberal Protestants, and people who are not affiliated with religion. This is because many of their religious traditions have not “systematically condemned homosexual behaviors” in recent years. Moderate and tolerant attitudes are generally reflected by Catholics and moderate Protestants. And lastly, the most conservative views are held by Evangelical Protestants
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

. Moreover, it is a tendency for one to be less tolerant of homosexuality if their social network is strongly tied to a religious congregation. Organized religion, especially Protestant and Baptist affiliations, espouse conservative views which traditionally denounce same-sex unions. Therefore, these congregations are more likely to hear messages of this nature. Polls have also indicated that the amount and level of personal contact that individuals have with homosexual individuals and traditional morality affects attitudes of same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

See also



  • Age of consent
    Age of consent
    While the phrase age of consent typically does not appear in legal statutes, when used in relation to sexual activity, the age of consent is the minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts. The European Union calls it the legal age for sexual...

  • Biphobia
    Biphobia
    Biphobia is a term used to describe aversion felt toward bisexuality and bisexuals as a social group or as individuals. People of any sexual orientation can experience such feelings of aversion...

  • Civil rights
    Civil rights
    Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

  • Declaration of Montreal
    Declaration of Montreal
    The Declaration of Montreal on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Human Rights is a document adopted in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on July 29, 2006, by the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights which formed part of the first World Outgames. The Declaration outlines a number of rights...

  • Gay culture
  • Gay icon
    Gay icon
    A gay icon is a public figure who is embraced by many within :lesbian, :gay, :bisexual and :transgender communities...

  • GLSEN
  • Heterosexism
    Heterosexism
    Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior...

  • Homosexual agenda
    Homosexual agenda
    Homosexual agenda is a pejorative term used by some conservatives in the United States to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships...

  • International Day Against Homophobia
    International Day Against Homophobia
    The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is celebrated every May 17.It is coordinated by the Paris based "IDAHO Committee" founded and presided by French academics, Louis-Georges Tin...


  • LGBT movements in the United States
    LGBT movements in the United States
    LGBT movements in the United States comprise an interwoven history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender social and political movements in the United States of America, beginning in the early 20th century...

  • LGBT rights by country or territory
  • Lesbian Separatism
  • List of gay-rights organizations
  • List of LGBT rights activists
  • Pro-gay slogans and symbols
    Pro-gay slogans and symbols
    LGBT slogans are catchphrases or slogans which express support for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and LGBT rights.- Slogans :-References:...

  • Special rights
    Special rights
    Special rights is a term originally used by libertarians to refer to laws granting rights to one or more groups which are not extended to other groups...

  • Spirit Day
    Spirit Day
    In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new commemoration called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010, in which people wear the color purple to show support for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying...

  • Social stigma
    Social stigma
    Social stigma is the severe disapproval of or discontent with a person on the grounds of characteristics that distinguish them from other members of a society.Almost all stigma is based on a person differing from social or cultural norms...

     (Historic stigmatization of GLBT community and lifestyle)


External links



Further reading

  • John Lauritsen
    John Lauritsen
    Not to be confused with the television news reporter in Minnesota of the same name.John Lauritsen is a retired market research analyst. He is an author and activist. Lauritsen wrote for the New York Native and was an early skeptic of the theory that HIV causes AIDS. He covered the debate over the...

     and David Thorstad
    David Thorstad
    David Thorstad , an American political activist and historian of the gay rights movement since the 1970s, was a founding member of the North American Man-Boy Love Association and former president of New York’s Gay Activists Alliance...

    . The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864–1935). Revised edition. 1974; Ojai, CA: Times Change Press, 1995. ISBN 0-87810-041-5
  • Margaret Cruikshank
    Margaret Cruikshank
    Margaret Cruikshank is an American lesbian feminist and academic. Cruikshank began teaching in the 1970s and was one of the first American academics to be out during a time when gay rights was just a fledgling idea...

    . The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1992. ISBN 0-415-90648-2
  • Martin Duberman
    Martin Duberman
    Martin Bauml Duberman is an American historian, playwright, and gay-rights activist. He is Professor of History Emeritus at Lehman College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York and was the founder of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate School...

    . Stonewall. New York: Plume, 1994. ISBN 0-452-27206-8
  • David Eisenbach
    David Eisenbach
    David Eisenbach is a historian and an expert on media and politics. He hosts the History Channel web series "Vote 101" and is a featured historian on the Emmy Award winning History Channel series "Great Moments on the Campaign Trial." Eisenbach is also the host and co-writer of "The Beltway...

    . "Gay Power: An American Revolution." New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006. ISBN 0-7867-1633-9
  • Barry D. Adam. The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. Revised edition. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-8057-3864-9
  • Warren Johansson
    Warren Johansson
    Warren Johansson was a philologist, author and a leading American gay scholar during his lifetime. He was founding member of the Scholarship Committee of the Gay Academic Union.-Biography:...

     and William Armstrong Percy, Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. New York and London: Haworth Press, 1994.
  • Robert Aldrich
    Robert Aldrich
    Robert Aldrich was an American film director, writer and producer, notable for such films as Kiss Me Deadly , The Big Knife , What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? , Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte , The Flight of the Phoenix , The Dirty Dozen , and The Longest Yard .-Biography:Robert...

    , (ed.) Gay Life and Culture: A World History. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.
  • David Carter
    David Carter
    David Carter may refer to:*Dave Carter , American folk singer, songwriter*David Carter , former American football offensive lineman...

     [MA]. Stonewall: the riots that sparked the Gay revolution; New York, NY; St Martin’s Press; 2004. ISBN 0-312-20025-0
  • Neil Miller
    Neil Miller (writer)
    Neil Miller is an American journalist and nonfiction writer, best known for his books on LGBT history and culture.- Life :Miller was born in Kingston, New York, in 1945 and graduated from Kingston High School and Brown University...

    ; Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian history from 1869 to the present; New York, NY; Alyson Books; 2006. ISBN 0-7394-6463-0
  • Thomas C. Caramagno. "Irreconcilable Differences? Intellectual Stalemate in the Gay Rights Debate." Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. ISBN 0-275-97721-8
  • Scott Gunther. "The Elastic Closet: A History of Homosexuality in France, 1942–present" Book about the history of homosexual movements in France (sample chapter available online). New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009. ISBN 0-230-22105-X