A large number left their families to serve in the sex-segregated military or to join the ranks of workers flooding the cities in search of wartime employment. Though homosexuality was not condoned in the military and some homosexual soldiers were dishonorably discharged, many gay and lesbian individuals who served in the military went undetected or were simply ignored.
As a result, they were able to make life-long friendships Bullough, After the war, many of these former servicemen and Women—who had, for the first time, met other LGBT individuals through the service—decided to remain in metro areas such as San Francisco and New York City. Cities were generally welcoming to the emerging LGBT community, and social networks expanded that were quite active throughout the s "Milestones in the Gay Rights Movement," Though LGBT communities thrived in many large cities, gay and lesbian individuals still faced discrimination and prejudice.
As Vern Bullough explained, "they were victims of what others said about them," and what was said only served to perpetuate stereotypes and fear. Homosexuality was denounced by:. During the s, LGBT individuals were routinely fired from government jobs and many were forced to leave the military. In , President Dwight D Eisenhower issued an executive order banning gay men and lesbian women from all federal jobs.
State and local governments and some private corporations followed suit, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began surveillance of known and suspected homosexual Americans. Federal policy in turn influenced local law enforcement and police began regularly raiding gay bars and arresting their patrons. Those arrested simply hoped that they would be fined and that their arrests would escape public notice Bullough, Eventually, fed up with the harassment and growing intolerance, some gay and lesbian activists began to organize politically.
At first the groups were small in size and political influence, but growing numbers of LGBT individuals began to take a stand for their rights "Milestones in the Gay Rights Movement," Initially secret, the group eventually went public, marking the start of "gay activism" Bullough, A parallel lesbian organization, the Daughters of Billitis, was founded in San Francisco around the same time, and it later merged with the Mattachine Society.
The formation of small, but public gay and lesbian political groups represented the first steps toward creating a grassroots civil rights movement for LGBT Americans. By the s, many LGBT individuals were becoming increasingly willing to act out against the discrimination that they were experiencing. The social changes happening in s, in particular the civil rights movement, inspired them to begin demanding change through what was initially called the homophile movement "Milestones in the Gay Rights Movement," This movement gave gay and lesbian Americans much more visibility as a social group.
The numbers of LGBT Americans who were willing to openly protest discrimination remained quite small through the s: He surveys the scope of the issues raised and the reactions of government. He chronicles the shifts in strategy for LGBT activists from assimilation to liberation, detailing the different paths activists have taken. Although he does an excellent job of chronicling the history of the movement citing its successes and failures, the work leaves you wanting analysis. In cases of civil rights, years of protesting and legal maneuvering ultimately has been successful for women and blacks, and Rimmerman maintains optimism that the same will hold true for the LGBT movement.
The role of government in any civil rights movement question is of great interest. The balance between paternalism and representation comes into play when moral issues are asked of the government.
They appear to be quick to condemn and slow to release. Civil rights movements revolve around the same general grievance: For women and blacks, the discrimination was based on gender and race, never ability. The government was an antagonist to previous civil rights movements , specifically the black activist movements of the s , but was similarly unsupportive for women's struggle to gain voting rights.
This follows from our government's paternalistic view of its purpose and belief that its job is to protect the institutions of our country against perceived negative impact. However, our government is supposed to be representative of the people.
Theoretically, the purpose of our government is the preservation of our natural rights. These questions are cumbersome, requiring the government to answer for a great many things and has been particularly poignant in the age that questions who has the right to marry. Like civil rights movements of the past the LGBT has had to make decisions on how it would act.
In their pursuit of equal rights, LGBT activists appear to be taking the best of what they learned from other civil rights successes. There are two basic strategies that the LGBT movement pursues:.
Assimilation is the idea that LGBT people would fold into the mainstream. What is effective in the movement is both its willingness to compromise as well as its deliberate challenging of the government in their own institutions. Because there was a strong social stigma against homosexuality, many LGBT people were very quiet about their sexual orientation. This was the attempt to assimilate. Assimilation was also the compromise following the decision by the Vermont Supreme Court to allow for civil unions.
Homosexuality is not new phenomenon. Unlike other groups pursuing equal rights like women and blacks, one cannot always easily tell that an individual is homosexual from their outward appearance. This breeds fear, suspicion and discrimination , the most pressing problem LGBT individuals face. A series of events chronicled by Rimmerman shifted the momentum from assimilation to the desire for liberation:. Recent developments, however, have challenged the legality of this legislation and organized events like the gay pride parade have taken bold steps from assimilation to liberation wherein gay Americans would be treated the same as all Americans in the eyes of the law.
Similar to the struggles for black rights and women's right to vote , the government committed three major policy fails fanning the passion of the LGBT activists:.
Moralists and Christian rights claimed it was a divine disease punishing morally abhorrent behavior. There was no funding, public support or public education, and those with AIDS were largely abandoned. It was the result of a fight President Clinton could not win. Clinton enraged LGBT supporters who were optimistic and generous.
Regardless, they fought on. The military itself could not determine that serving openly gay would have any negative effect on unit cohesion. If there was an adjustment period, then it would eventually work out. Deliberate pressing of the executive branch challenged the notions that unit cohesion was sufficient to justify the ban which was not finally lifted until by President Obama.
Not surprisingly, the military adapted when units were desegregated. It was a milestone in the prevention of gay marriage and is backed by archaic religious tenets.
DOMA states and is contradictory due to:. While the federal government hedged the issue by placing it in the hands of the states, they further complicated matters by creating discrepancies between federal and state offered rights. There is clearly no reason by LGBT individuals should not have the right to marry and this legislative action further moved the LGBT movement toward liberation and they took their fight to the courts and the states directly.
The hallmark decision beginning the national trend of states addressing same-sex marriages was Baker v. For the first time, a state supreme court ordered a legislature to create a substantially similar form of legal union for same sex couples because the legitimate state interest in protecting the marital contract was the protection of children. Thus were born civil unions. Other important cases include Bowers v.
However, Gay Rights laws do not give the gay community any special privileges, but simply the same basic rights of equality that every straight person is given. I am actually doing an essay at.
The civil rights movement is one that has evolved since its inception to represent many differing groups struggling for equality. The most recent group to enter the civil rights struggle are gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered (LGBT) individuals/5(6).
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