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LGBT social movements

Gay rights demonstration in New York City, 1976.
Workers of the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association participating in 2005 Taiwan Pride parade in Taipei.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social movements is a LGBT rights organizations are active worldwide.

A commonly stated goal among these movements is political activism and cultural activity, including lobbying, street marches, social groups, media, art, and research.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
    • Enlightenment era 2.1
    • LGBT movement emergence 2.2
    • Homophile movement (1945–69) 2.3
    • Gay Liberation movement (1969–74) 2.4
    • LGBT Rights movement (1972–present) 2.5
      • 1972–86 2.5.1
      • 1987–2000 2.5.2
      • 21st-century 2.5.3
  • Public opinions 3
    • Opposition 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • Further reading 7


An LGBT protest at the Idaho statehouse in 2014.

Sociologist Mary Bernstein writes: "For the lesbian and gay movement, then, cultural goals include (but are not limited to) challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity, homophobia, and the primacy of the gendered heterosexual nuclear family (heteronormativity). Political goals include changing laws and policies in order to gain new rights, benefits, and protections from harm."[2] 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, transgender 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, transgender people, and bisexuals from the public eye, creating internal divisions within LGBT communities.[3]

LGBT movements have often adopted a kind of identity politics that sees gay, bisexual and/or transgender people as a fixed class of people; a minority group or groups. Those using this approach aspire to liberal political goals of freedom and equal opportunity, and aim to join the political mainstream on the same level as other groups in society.[4] In arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity 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 movement have argued that the categories of gay and lesbian are restrictive, and attempted to deconstruct those categories, which are seen to "reinforce rather than challenge a cultural system that will always mark the nonheterosexual as inferior."[5]

After the French Revolution the anticlerical feeling in Catholic countries coupled with the liberalizing effect of the Napoleonic Code made it possible to sweep away sodomy laws. However, in Protestant countries, where 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.


Enlightenment era

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, same-sex sexual behaviour and cross-dressing were widely considered to be socially unacceptable, and were serious crimes under sodomy and sumptuary laws. There were, however, some exceptions. For example, in the 17th century cross dressing was common in plays, as evident in the content of many of William Shakespeare's plays and by the actors in actual performance (since female roles in Elizabethan theater were always performed by males, usually prepubescent boys).

Thomas Cannon wrote what may be the earliest published defense of homosexuality in English, Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplify'd (1749). Although only fragments of his work have survived, it was a humorous anthology of homosexual advocacy, written with an obvious enthusiasm for its subject.[6] It contains the argument: "Unnatural Desire is a Contradiction in Terms; downright Nonsense. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts: Are not they, however constructed, and consequently impelling, Nature?"

Jeremy Bentham, an early advocate for the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Social reformer Jeremy Bentham wrote the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around 1785, at a time when the legal penalty for buggery was death by hanging. His advocacy stemmed from his utilitarian philosophy, in which the morality of an action is determined by the net consequence of that action on human well-being. He argued that homosexuality was a victimless crime, and therefore not deserving of social approbation or criminal charges. He regarded popular negative attitudes against homosexuality as an irrational prejudice, fanned and perpetuated by religious teachings.[7] However, he did not publicize his views as he feared reprisal; his powerful essay was not published until 1978.

The emerging currents of secular humanist thought which had inspired Bentham also informed the French Revolution, and when the newly formed National Constituent Assembly 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, for freedom and recognition.[8] In 1791, France became the first nation to decriminalize homosexuality, probably thanks in part to Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès, who was one of the authors of the Napoleonic code. Under Napoleonic influence, the Duchy of Warsaw decriminalized[9]

In 1830, the new Penal Code of the Brazilian Empire did not repeat the title XIII of the fifth book of the "Ordenações Philipinas", which made sodomy a crime.

In 1833, an anonymous English-language writer wrote a poetic defense of Captain Nicholas Nicholls, who had been sentenced to death in London for sodomy:

Whence spring these inclinations, rank and strong?
And harming no one, wherefore call them wrong?[8]

Three years later in Switzerland, Heinrich Hoessli published the first volume of Eros: Die Männerliebe der Griechen (English: "Eros: The Male Love of the Greeks"), another defence of same-sex love.[8]

LGBT movement emergence

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, German gay rights activist of the 1860s

In many ways, social attitudes to homosexuality became more hostile during the late Victorian era. In 1885 the Labouchere Amendment was included in the Criminal Law Amendment Act, which criminalized 'any act of gross indecency with an other male person'; a charge that was successfully invoked to convict playwright Oscar Wilde in 1895 with the most severe sentence possible under the Act.

From the 1870s, social reformers began to defend homosexuality, but due to the controversial nature of their advocacy, kept their identities secret. A secret British society called the "Lord Alfred Douglas, with whom he had a brief affair, introduced Ives to several Oxford poets whom Ives also tried to recruit. In 1897, Ives created and founded the first homosexual rights group, the Order of Chaeronea. Members included Charles Kains Jackson, Samuel Elsworth Cottam, Montague Summers, and John Gambril Nicholson.

John Addington Symonds was a poet and an early advocate of male love. In 1873, he wrote A Problem in Greek Ethics, a work of what would later be called "gay history."[11] Although the Oxford English Dictionary credits the medical writer C.G. Chaddock for introducing "homosexual" into the English language in 1892, Symonds had already used the word in A Problem in Greek Ethics.[12]

John Addington Symonds' Male Love: A Problem in Greek Ethics.

Symonds also translated classical poetry on homoerotic themes, and wrote poems drawing on ancient Greek imagery and language such as Eudiades, which has been called "the most famous of his homoerotic poems".[13] While the taboos of Victorian England prevented Symonds from speaking openly about homosexuality, his works published for a general audience contained strong implications and some of the first direct references to male-male sexual love in English literature. By the end of his life, Symonds' homosexuality had become an open secret in Victorian literary and cultural circles. In particular, Symonds' memoirs, written over a four-year period, from 1889 to 1893, form the earliest known self-conscious homosexual autobiography.

Another friend of Ives was the English socialist poet Edward Carpenter. Carpenter thought that homosexuality was an innate and natural human characteristic and that it should not be regarded as a sin or a criminal offence. In the 1890s, Carpenter began a concerted effort to campaign against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, possibly in response to the recent death of Symonds, whom he viewed as his campaigning inspiration. His 1908 book on the subject, The Intermediate Sex, would become a foundational text of the LGBT movements of the 20th century. Scottish anarchist John Henry Mackay also wrote in defense of same-sex love and androgyny.

English sexologist Havelock Ellis wrote the first objective scientific study of homosexuality in 1897, in which he treated it as a neutral sexual condition. Called Sexual Inversion it was first printed in German and then translated into English a year later. In the book, Ellis argued that same-sex relationships could not be characterized as a pathology or a crime and that its importance rose above the arbitrary restrictions imposed by society.[14] He also studied what he called 'inter-generational relationships' and that these also broke societal taboos on age difference in sexual relationships. The book was so controversial at the time that one bookseller was charged in court for holding copies of the work. It is claimed that Ellis coined the term 'homosexual', but in fact he disliked the word due to its conflation of Greek and Latin.

These early proponents of LGBT rights, such as Carpenter, were often aligned with a broader socio-political movement know as 'free love'; a critique of Victorian sexual morality 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, also spoke in defence of same-sex love and challenged repressive legislation.

An early LGBT movement also began in Germany at the turn of the 20th century, centering around the doctor and writer Magnus Hirschfeld. In 1897 he formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee to campaign publicly against the notorious law "Paragraph 175," which made sex between men illegal. Adolf Brand 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" as a political strategy, claiming that German Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow engaged in homosexual activity.

May 14, 1928 issue of German lesbian periodical Die Freundin (The Girlfriend).

The 1901 book Sind es Frauen? Roman über das dritte Geschlecht (English: Are These Women? Novel about the Third Sex) by Aimée Duc was as much a political treatise as a novel, criticising pathological theories of homosexuality and gender inversion in women.[15] 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 became a prominent figure in the movement. Friedrich Radszuweit published LGBT literature and magazines in Berlin (e.g., Die Freundin).

Hirschfeld, whose life was dedicated to social progress for people who were transsexual, transvestite and homosexual, formed the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft (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, 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.[16] This was a remarkable step in Russia at 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 1928, English writer Radclyffe Hall published a novel titled The Well of Loneliness. Its plot centers around Stephen Gordon, a woman who identifies herself as an invert after reading Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis, and lives within the homosexual subculture of Paris. The novel included a foreword by Havelock Ellis and was intended to be a call for tolerance for inverts by publicizing their disadvantages and accidents of being born inverted.[17] Hall subscribed to Ellis and Krafft-Ebing's theories and rejected Freud's theory that same-sex attraction was caused by childhood trauma and was curable.[18]

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.[19] A better documented group is Henry Gerber's Society for Human Rights formed in Chicago in 1924, which was quickly suppressed.[20]

Homophile movement (1945–69)

Cover of U.S. lesbian publication 'The Ladder' from October 1957. The motif of masks and unmasking was prevalent in the homophile era, prefiguring the political strategy of coming out and giving the Mattachine Society its name.

Immediately following

  • Barry D. Adam. The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. Revised edition. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995. ISBN 0-8057-3864-9
  • Robert Aldrich, (ed.) Gay Life and Culture: A World History. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.
  • William E. Burleson. Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community. United Kingdom: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 978-1560234791
  • Richard C. Cante. Gay Men and the Forms of Contemporary US Culture. London: Ashgate Publishing, 2009. ISBN 0-7546-7230-1
  • Thomas C. Caramagno. Irreconcilable Differences? Intellectual Stalemate in the Gay Rights Debate. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002. ISBN 0-275-97721-8
  • David Carter [MA]. Stonewall: the riots that sparked the Gay revolution; New York, NY; St Martin’s Press; 2004. ISBN 0-312-20025-0
  • Margaret Cruikshank. The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1992. ISBN 0-415-90648-2
  • Martin Duberman. Stonewall. New York: Plume, 1994. ISBN 0-452-27206-8
  • David Eisenbach. Gay Power: An American Revolution. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006. ISBN 0-7867-1633-9
  • Brian J. Frederick. "'Delinquent boys': Toward a new understanding of 'deviant' and transgressive behavior in gay men. Critical Criminology, 21(4):10.1007/s10612-013-9230-3
  • Marcia Gallo. Different Daughters: A History of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Rise of the Lesbian Rights Movement. New York:Seal Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1580052528
  • Scott Gunther. The Elastic Closet: A History of Homosexuality in France, 1942–present New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009. ISBN 0-230-22105-X. Book about the history of homosexual movements in France.
  • Warren Johansson and William Armstrong Percy, Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. New York and London: Haworth Press, 1994.
  • John Lauritsen and David Thorstad. The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864–1935). Revised edition. 1974; Ojai, CA: Times Change Press, 1995. ISBN 0-87810-041-5
  • Neil Miller. Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian history from 1869 to the present. New York, NY; Alyson Books; 2006. ISBN 0-7394-6463-0
  • Robyn Ochs and Sarah Rowley. Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World. Second Edition. Boston: Bisexual Resource Center, 2009. ISBN 978-0965388153

Further reading

  • Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Gay Civil Rights Organizations around the World
  • Guide to the Alan Klein collection of archival material related to the Gay-rights movement, housed in the Fales Library at NYU
  • Gallagher, John & Chris Bull, Perfect Enemies, , 1996, Crown, 300 pp.
  • Milligan, Don, The Politics of Homosexuality (1973)
  • Norton, Rictor, “The Suppression of Lesbian and Gay History”, February 12, 2005, updated April 5, 2005.
  • Percy, William A., Review of “Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights”, November 22, 2005. Accessed on 18 June 2006.
  • Gerald Schoenewolf, "Gay Rights and Political Correctness: A Brief History"
  • Spitzer, RL, "The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues." Am J Psychiatry. 1981 Feb;138(2):210-5.
  • Antidiscrimination Legislation, April 1999, a worldwide summary PDF (53.5 KiB) IGLHRC
  • On the Eve of Pride: Are We Going the Right Way? (2009)
  • International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
  • International Lesbian and Gay Association World Legal Survey (2000)
  • Gay Rights Community Center (USA)
  • Good As You "Gay & Lesbian Activism With A Sense of Humor"
  • The Prague Post – New era for gay rights movement in the Czech Republic
  • "Is That All There Is?: More to Gay Rights Than Marriage", The Indypendent, July 4, 2003
  • "Police Brutality Strikes Fifth Anniversary of Sylvia Rivera Law Project" Indymedia, September 27, 2007
  • History of Gay Bars in New York City
  • Palestine and gay rights
  • The Gay Civil Rights Movement Media Feed
  • The Christian Democrats of America: position regarding Gay Rights
  • Gay Rights Movement Confronts Teen Suicides, Homophobic Electioneering and Violent Attacks - video report by Democracy Now!
  • LGBT at UB This collection covers the LGBT clubs and community at the University at Buffalo in the 70’s, during which the first LGB club was founded on campus, and into the 80’s, and 90’s. This collection will continue to grow to encompass more items from these decades and in time will include the 2000’s.

External links

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America – Page 194
  2. ^ Bernstein, Mary (2002). Identities and Politics: Toward a Historical Understanding of the Lesbian and Gay Movement. Social Science History 26:3 (fall 2002).
  3. ^ Bull, C., and J. Gallagher (1996) Perfect Enemies: The Religious Right, the Gay Movement, and the Politics of the 1990s. New York: Crown.
  4. ^ One example of this approach is: Sullivan, Andrew. (1997) Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con. New York: Vintage.
  5. ^ Bernstein (2002)
  6. ^ Robinson, David M. (2006). Closeted writing and lesbian and gay literature: classical, early modern, eighteenth-century. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 38.  
  7. ^ Bentham, Jeremy, Offences Against One's Self, c1785 (full text online).
  8. ^ a b c Blasius, Mark and Phelan, Shane (eds.), 1997. "We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics", New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-90859-0
  9. ^ The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
  10. ^ McKenna, Neil (2003), "The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde: An Intimate Biography". (London: Century) ISBN 0-7126-6986-8
  11. ^ Katz. Love Stories. pp. 243–244. 
  12. ^ DeJean, "Sex and Philology," p. 132, pointing to the phrase "homosexual relations" (here as it appears in the later 1908 edition).
  13. ^ Robert Aldrich (1993). The Seduction of the Mediterranean: Writing, Art, and Homosexual Fantasy. Routledge. p. 78. 
  14. ^ Das Konträre Geschlechtsgefühle. Leipzig, 1896. See White, Chris (1999). Nineteenth-Century Writings on Homosexuality. CRC Press. p. 66. 
  15. ^ Breger, Claudia. 2005. Feminine Masculinities: Scientific and Literary Representations of "Female Inversion" at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Journal of the History of Sexuality 14.1/2 (2005) 76–106
  16. ^ Dan Healey (15 October 2001). Homosexual Desire in Revolutionary Russia: The Regulation of Sexual and Gender Dissent. University of Chicago Press. p. 3.  
  17. ^ Faderman (1981), p. 320.
  18. ^ Doan, p. XIII.
  19. ^ Norton, Rictor, (2005), "The Suppression of Lesbian and Gay History"
  20. ^ a b Bullough, Vern, "When Did the Gay Rights Movement Begin?", 18 April 2005
  21. ^ a b Percy, William A. & William Edward Glover, 2005, Before Stonewall, November 5, 2005
  22. ^ a b Matzner, 2004, "Stonewall Riots"
  23. ^ Percy, 2005, "Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights"
  24. ^ "From Section 28 to a Home Office float - Tories come out in force at gay march", The Guardian, London, 3 July 2010.
  26. ^ Altman, D. (1971). Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. New York: Outerbridge & Dienstfrey.
  27. ^ Adam, B. D. (1987). The rise of a gay and lesbian movement. Boston: Twayne Publishers.
  28. ^ Marotta, Toby, The Politics of Homosexuality, Boston, p. 68
  29. ^ Gallagher,John & Bull, Chris, 1996, Perfect Enemies
  30. ^ "Channel 13/WNET Out! 2007: Women In the Movement". WNET. 
  31. ^ "The Gay Pride Issue". Queerty. Jun 18, 2007 last=Belonsky. 
  32. ^ Dynes, Wayne R. Pride (trope), Homolexis
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  34. ^ Victoria Brittain (28 August 1971). "An Alternative to Sexual Shame: Impact of the new militancy among homosexual groups". The Times. p. 12. 
  35. ^ "Gay Liberation Front (GLF)". Database of Archives of Non-Government Organisations. 01/04/2009. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  36. ^ Gingell, Basil (10 September 1971). "Uproar at Central Hall as demonstrators threaten to halt Festival of Light". The Times. p. 14. 
  37. ^ "Gay Birmingham Remembered - The Gay Birmingham History Project".  
  38. ^ Lucas 1998, p. 3
  39. ^ Gay News (1978) No. 135; Peace News (13 January 1978)
  40. ^ Hanna Jedvik (5 March 2007). "Lagen om könsbyte ska utredas". RFSU. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007. 
  41. ^ 「オトコノコのためのボーイフレンド」(1986)
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  44. ^ Donaldson, Stephen (1995). "The Bisexual Movement's Beginnings in the 70s: A Personal Retrospective". In Tucker, Naomi. Bisexual Politics: Theories, Queries, & Visions. New York: Harrington Park Press. pp. 31–45.  
  45. ^ Highleyman, Liz (2003-07-11). "PAST Out: What is the history of the bisexual movement?". LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth 13 (8). Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  46. ^ Martin, Robert (1972-08-02). "Quakers 'come out' at conference". The Advocate (91): 8. 
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  48. ^ Epstein, S. (1999). Gay and lesbian movements in the United States: Dilemmas of identity, diversity, and political strategy. in B. D. Adam, J. Duyvendak, & A. Krouwel (Eds.), "The global emergence of gay and lesbian politics" (pp. 30–90). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  49. ^ Hekman, Gert; Oosterhuis, Harry; Steakley, James (1995). Leftist Sexual Politics and Homosexuality: A Historical Overview, Journal of Homosexuality. New York: Sep 30, 1995. Vol.29, Iss. 2/3
  50. ^ David Valentine, “‘I Know What I Am’: The Category ‘Transgender’ in the Construction of Contemporary U.S. American Conceptions of Gender and Sexuality” (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 2000), p. 190.
  51. ^ "Where are they now: Maureen Colquhoun". 
  52. ^ The Knitting Circle – 'Gay Left Collective'
  53. ^ Bergh, Frederick Quist (2001). "Jag känner mig lite homosexuell idag" [I feel a little gay today] (in Swedish). Retrieved 12 December 2009. 
  54. ^ Rich, A. (1980). Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. Signs, 5, 631–660.
  55. ^ Lesbian Sex Wars, article by Elise Chenier from GLBTQ encyclopedia.
  56. ^ Lehman, M. (2005). [1].
  57. ^ "List of Colleges with a LGBT Center". College Equality Index. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26. 
  58. ^ "Empowering Spirits Foundation Applauds Passage of NH Marriage Equality Bill" (PDF). Empowering Spirits Foundation Press Release. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  59. ^ Tenn. County Reverses On Gay Ban
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See also

[101] Studies show that Non-Protestants are much more likely to support same-sex unions than

Location also affects ideas towards same-sex marriage; residents of rural 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.[100]

It had been suggested that education has a positive impact on support for same sex marriage. African Americans statistically have lower rates of educational achievement, however, the education level of African Americans does not have as much significance on their attitude towards same-sex marriage 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. The income levels of whites have 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.[99]

David Campos, 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 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 and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth.[97] 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.[97] 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.[96] In opposition to this claim, many proponents of increased education about homosexuality suggest that educators should refrain from teaching about sexuality in schools entirely. In her book entitled "Gay and Lesbian Movement," Margaret Cruickshank provides statistical data from the Harris and Yankelovich polls 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 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.[98]

Eric Rofes author of the book, A Radical Rethinking of Sexuality and Schooling: Status Quo or Status Queer?, argues that the inclusion of teachings on homosexuality in public schools will play an important role in transforming public ideas about lesbian and gay individuals.[95] 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 approaches to making significant changes in public attitudes about homosexuality.[95] 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 activists such as John Briggs. Former California 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".[96] 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.[95] Eric Rofes founder of youth homosexual programs, such as Out There and Committee for Gay Youth, stresses the importance of having support programs that help youth learn to identify with their sexual orientation.

Some people worry that gay rights may conflict with individuals' freedom of speech,[80][81][82][83][84] religious freedoms in the workplace,[85][86] and the ability to run churches,[87] charitable organizations[88][89] and other religious organizations[90] 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 marriages or risk losing their tax-exempt status.[91][92][93][94]

LGBT movements are opposed by a variety of individuals and organizations.[67][68][69][70][71] They may have a personal, moral, political or religious objection to gay rights, homosexual relations or gay people. Opponents say same-sex relationships are not marriages,[72] that legalization of same-sex marriage will open the door for the legalization of polygamy,[73] that it is unnatural[74] and that it encourages unhealthy behavior.[75][76] Some social conservatives believe that all sexual relationships with people other than an opposite-sex spouse undermines the traditional family[77] and that children should be reared in homes with both a father and a mother.[78][79] Since society has become more accepting of homosexuality, there has been the emergence of many groups that desire to end homosexuality; during the 1990s, one of the best known groups that was established with this goal is the ex-gay movement.


Public opinions

In early 2014 a series of protests organized by Add The Words, Idaho and former state senator Nicole LeFavour, some including civil disobedience and concomitant arrests,[63] took place in Boise, Idaho which advocated adding the words "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the state's Human Rights act.[64][65][66]

The "Don't ask, don't tell" 1993 law forbidding homosexual people from serving openly in the United States military, was repealed in 2010. This meant that gays and lesbians could now serve openly in the military without any fear of being discharged because of their sexual orientation. In 2012, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a regulation to prohibit discrimination in federally-assisted housing programs. The new regulations ensure that the Department's core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Iceland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through a unanimous vote: 49-0, on 11 June 2010.[62] A month later, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.

On 22 October 2009, the assembly of the Church of Sweden, voted strongly in favour of giving its blessing to homosexual couples,[61] including the use of the term marriage, ("matrimony").

From 6 to 9 November 2006, The Yogyakarta Principles on application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity was adopted by an international meeting of 29 specialists, the International Commission of Jurists and the International Service for Human Rights. The UN declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 2008.

In 2003, in the case Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down sodomy laws in fourteen states, making consensual homosexual sex legal in all 50 states, a significant step forward in LGBT activism and one that had been fought for by activists since the inception of modern LGBT social movements.[60]

The Netherlands was the first country to allow same-sex marriage in 2001. As of 2014, same-sex marriages are also recognized in Sweden, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Uruguay, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Mexico, and Israel (though not performed there), along with twenty five states in the United States: Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Delaware, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Indiana and Colorado as well as the District of Columbia.[58] During this same period, some municipalities have been enacting laws against homosexuality. E.g., Rhea County, Tennessee unsuccessfully tried to "ban homosexuals" in 2006.[59]

An LGBT demonstration held on the Statehouse steps in Boise, Idaho in 2014.
Worldwide laws regarding homosexual
relationships and expression
     Same-sex marriage      Restricted freedom of expression
     Other type of partnership or unregistered cohabitation      Unenforced penalty
     Government/court legalized a level of same-sex union      Imprisonment
     Marriage recognized but not performed      Up to life in prison
     Marriage recognized federally but not performed      Death penalty
     Same-sex unions not recognized

Click on map to view an enlarged version where rings in various locations become visible. These indicate places with local and/or case-by-case applications of law.


In many cases, LGBT movements came to focus on questions of intersectionality, the interplay of oppressions arising from being both queer and underclass, colored, disabled, etc.

The 1990s also saw a rapid push of the Latin America while activists in the United States formed direct-confrontation groups such as the Transexual Menace.

On June 24, 1994, first Gay Pride march was performed in Asia in the Philippines. In the Middle East, LGBT organizations remain illegal, and LGBT rights 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 alliances in high schools, and youth-specific activism, such as the National Day of Silence. Colleges also became places of LGBT activism and support for activists and LGBT people in general, with many colleges opening LGBT centers.[57]

Some historians posit that a new era of the gay rights movement began in the 1980s with the emergence of AIDS, which decimated the leadership and shifted the focus for many.[21] This era saw a resurgence of militancy with direct action groups like AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), formed in 1987, as well as its offshoots Queer Nation (1990) and the Lesbian Avengers (1992). Some younger activists, seeing gay and lesbian as increasingly normative and politically conservative, began using queer as a defiant statement of all sexual minorities and gender variant people—just as the earlier liberationists had done with gay. Less confrontational terms that attempt to reunite the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people also became prominent, including various acronyms like LGBT, LGBTQ, and LGBTI, where the Q and I stand for queer or questioning and intersex, respectively.


Mark Segal, often referred to as the dean of American gay journalism, disrupted the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite in 1973, 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.

In Canada, the coming into effect of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 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.[56]

lesbian separatism," influenced by writings such as Jill Johnston's 1973 book Lesbian Nation. Disagreements between different political philosophies were, at times, extremely heated, and became known as the lesbian sex wars,[55] clashing in particular over views on sadomasochism, prostitution and transsexuality. The term "gay" came to be more strongly associated with homosexual males.

In 1979, a number of people in Sweden 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.[53]

In 1977, a former Miss America contestant and orange juice spokesperson, Anita Bryant, 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 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors becoming the first openly gay man in the United States elected to public office. Milk was assassinated by a former city supervisor Dan White in 1978.

In 1975, the groundbreaking film portraying homosexual gay icon Quentin Crisp's life, The Naked Civil Servant was transmitted by Thames Television for the British Television channel ITV. The British journal Gay Left also began publication.[52] After British Home Stores sacked an openly gay trainee Tony Whitehead, a national campaign subsequently picketed their stores in protest.

In 1974, Maureen Colquhoun came out as the first Lesbian MP for the Labour Party in the UK. When elected she was married in a heterosexual marriage.[51]

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.[50] 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 and Beth Elliot were sidelined or expelled because they were transgender.

From the anarchist Gay Liberation movement of the early 1970s arose a more reformist and single-issue Gay Rights movement, which portrayed gays and lesbians as a minority group and used the language of civil rights—in many respects continuing the work of the homophile period.[48] In Berlin, for example, the radical Homosexuelle Aktion Westberlin was eclipsed by the Allgemeine Homosexuelle Arbeitsgemeinschaft.[49]

[47]In that same year the
The Statement, which may have been "the first public declaration of the bisexual movement" and "was certainly the first statement on bisexuality issued by an American religious assembly," appeared in the Quaker Friends Journal and The Advocate in 1972.[44][45][46]
[43] became more visible in the LGBT rights movement in the 1970s. In 1972 a Quaker group, the Committee of Friends on Bisexuality, issued the “Ithaca Statement on Bisexuality” supporting bisexuals.Bisexuals


LGBT Rights movement (1972–present)

In Japan, LGBT groups were established in the 1970s.[41][42] In 1971, Ken Togo ran for the Upper House election.

In 1972, Sweden became the first country in the world to allow people who were transsexual by legislation to surgically change their sex and provide free hormone replacement therapy. Sweden also permitted the age of consent for same-sex partners to be at age 15, making it equal to heterosexual couples.[40]

From 1970 activists protested the classification of homosexuality as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 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" remains.

By 1974, internal disagreements had led to the movement's splintering. Organizations that spun off from the movement included the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Gay News, and Icebreakers. The GLF Information Service continued for a few further years providing gay related resources.[38] GLF branches had been set up in some provincial British towns (e.g., Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, and Leicester) and some survived for a few years longer. The Leicester group founded by Jeff Martin was noted for its involvement in the setting up of the local "Gayline", which is still active today and has received funding from the National Lottery. They also carried out a high profile campaign against the local paper, the Leicester Mercury, which refused to advertise Gayline's services at the time.[39]

Easter 1972 saw the Gay Lib annual conference held in the Guild of Undergraduates Union (students union) building at the University of Birmingham.[37]

The disruption of the opening of the 1971 GLF action. The Festival of Light, whose leading figures included Mary Whitehouse, met at Methodist Central Hall. Groups of GLF members in drag invaded and spontaneously kissed each other; others released mice, sounded horns, and unveiled banners, and a contingent dressed as workmen obtained access to the basement and shut off the lights.[36]

By 1971, the UK GLF was recognized as a political movement in the national press, holding weekly meetings of 200 to 300 people.[34] The GLF Manifesto was published, and a series of high-profile direct actions, were carried out.[35]

In the United Kingdom the GLF had its first meeting in the basement of the London School of Economics on 13 October 1970. Bob Mellors and Aubrey Walter had seen the effect of the GLF in the United States and created a parallel movement based on revolutionary politics and alternative lifestyle.[33]

The 1971 GLF cover version of Ink magazine, printed in London.

One of the values of the movement was gay pride. Within weeks of the Stonewall Riots, Craig Rodwell, proprietor of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop in lower Manhattan, persuaded the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) to replace the Fourth of July Annual Reminder at Independence Hall in Philadelphia with a first commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. Liberation groups, including the Gay Liberation Front, Queens, the Gay Activists Alliance, Radicalesbians, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR) all took part in the first Gay Pride Week. Los Angeles held a big parade on the first Gay Pride Day. Smaller demonstrations were held in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.

Bisexual activist Brenda Howard is known as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in coordinating the first LGBT pride march; the march eventually occurred in New York in 1970. Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.[30][31] Additionally, Howard along with bisexual activist Robert A. Martin (aka Donny the Punk) and L. Craig Schoonmaker are credited with popularizing the word "Pride" to describe these festivities.[32] As bisexual activist Tom Limoncelli put it, "The next time someone asks you why LGBT Pride marches exist or why [LGBT] Pride Month is June tell them 'A bisexual woman named Brenda Howard thought it should be.'"

Immediately after Stonewall, such groups as the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Gay Activists' Alliance (GAA) were formed. Their use of the word gay represented a new unapologetic defiance—as an antonym for straight ("respectable sexual behaviour"), it encompassed a range of non-normative sexualities and gender expressions, including transgender street prostitutes, and sought ultimately to free the bisexual potential in everyone, rendering obsolete the categories of homosexual and heterosexual.[26][27] According to Gay Lib writer Toby Marotta, "their Gay political outlooks were not homophile but liberationist".[28] "Out, loud and proud," they engaged in colourful street theatre.[29] The GLF’s "A Gay Manifesto" set out the aims for the fledgling gay liberation movement, and influential intellectual Paul Goodman 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 was formed in 1971 by lesbians who split from the Mouvement Homophile de France.

The new social movements of the sixties, such as the Black Power and anti-Vietnam war movements in the US, the May 1968 insurrection in France, and Women's Liberation throughout the Western world, inspired some LGBT activists to become more radical,[22] and the Gay Liberation movement emerged towards the end of the decade. This new radicalism is often attributed to the Stonewall riots of 1969, when a group of transsexuals, lesbians, drag queens, and gay male patrons at a bar in New York resisted a police raid.[20]

Gay equality activist Barbara Gittings picketing Independence Hall in 1965.

Gay Liberation movement (1969–74)

[25] Two years later, during a staff meeting at a San Francisco mental health facility serving LGBT people, nurse Maggi Rubenstein came out as bisexual. Due to this, bisexuals began to be included in the facility's programs for the first time.[25] Bisexual activism became more visible toward the end of the 1960s in the United States. In 1966 bisexual activist

The report eventually led to the introduction of the Sexual Offences Bill 1967 supported by Labour MP Roy Jenkins, then the Labour Home Secretary. When passed, The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age in private in England and Wales.[24]

The Wolfenden Report was published in Britain on 4 September 1957 after publicized convictions for homosexuality of well-known men, including Lord Montagu. Disregarding the conventional ideas of the day, the committee recommended that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence". All but James Adair were in favour of this and, contrary to some medical and psychiatric witnesses' evidence at that time, found that "homosexuality cannot legitimately be regarded as a disease, because in many cases it is the only symptom and is compatible with full mental health in other respects." The report added, "The law's function is to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others ... It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour."

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 Tenderloin rioted against police harassment at a popular all-night restaurant, Gene Compton's Cafeteria.

, also published two issues in 1952. Transvestia: The Journal of the American Society for Equality in Dress. A U.S. transgender rights journal, Reed Erickson was bankrolled by the wealthy transsexual man [21]

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