The History of the Gay Rights Movement Heather Alexander Dr. Kelly Hall Strayer University November 30, 2012 The History of the Gay Rights Movement at “The Gay Rights Movement, also referred to as homosexual rights movement or gay liberation movement, is a civil rights movement that advocates equal rights for gay men, lesbians, bi-sexual, and transsexuals.
The organization seeks to eliminate sodomy laws barring homosexual acts between consenting adults and calls for an end to discrimination against gay men and lesbians in employment, credit lending, housing, public accommodations and other areas of life. ” Gay rights movement. (2012). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved fromhttp://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/766382/gay-rights-movement The Gay Rights Movement is a civil social issue that not only exists here in the United States but all over the world “Homosexuality” has not always been legally acceptable and to this day it is still far from morally acceptable.
The Buggery Act passed into law in the 1530’s, during the Henry VIII reign, and stated that any sexual relationship between men was a criminal act punishable by death. It remained a capital offence until 1861 In 1865 Parliament passed an amendment which created the “gross indecency” for same sex male sexual relations to be prosecuted, but not receive the death penalty. Germany passed a similar law called Paragraph 175. It stated that a same sex male relation was punishable by imprisonment and loss of civil rights.
There was not an actual voice for the homosexual community until 1897 when the founding of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Wissenschaftlich-humanitares Komitee; WHK) in Berlin. They drafted a petition to repeal Paragraph 175. The committee published ligature, sponsored rallies and campaigned for legal change Thru out Germany The Netherlands and Austria. By 1922 they created over 25 chapters. The founder Magnus Hirschfeld also founded the Institute for Sexual Science. He also helped sponsor the World League of Sexual Reform. Although they could not repeal Paragraph 175 the homosexual community did experience a little more reedom in Germany. The first documented gay rights organization in the United States was The Society for Human Rights. It was established in 1929 in Chicago. It was not until the 50’s that the first national gay rights organization The Mattachine Society was founded. Its founder Harry Hay is considered to be the founder of the Gay Rights Movement. In 1962 Illinois became the first state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults. Many people consider the Stonewall riots in 1969 a turning point in the movement. A number of groups formed to appeal the laws prohibiting the consensual homosexual conduct.
The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders in 1973. In 1978 The International Lesbian and Gay Association was founded. It wasn’t until the early 80’s that the issue of gay and lesbian rights made its way to the European Commission. The EU was more acceptable with these issues then the United Nations. By the 1990’s the sexual orientation discrimination had been written in treaties and in certain legislation and policies. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to give limited rights to same sex couples.
They were also the first country to grant same sex marriage and adoption. Several other countries have since adopted similar policies. / Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. By 1984 Berkeley CA became the first city to offer its employees domestic partnership benefits. But it was not until 2000 that Vermont became the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between same sex couples. The law states that these couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Over the next 10 years 9 states would legalize same sex marriage. The first research into homosexuality was done by Alfred Kinsey. He was a researcher at the University of Indiana. Alfred Kinsey wrote Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948). His work is believed to have influenced sociological research into homosexual activity. He found that 37% of men had sex with other men. His research method was found to have significant flaws. He only interviews white males and they were from lower socioeconomic class. In 1994 sociologist Edward Laurmann tried to recreate the Kinsey study.
Laurmann used a more accurate sampling of US. His study found that only 7. 1% of men engaged in sexual activity with other men. His study is still considered one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind. Over the last 20 years the Gay rights movement has gained momentum and accomplished a lot. There is still more that needs to be accomplished. Ten years ago there was not one state in this country that legalized gay marriage. The fact that it took till 2007 to ensure that gay men, lesbians and bi-sexual were guaranteed equal rights in the work place.
We live in a culture where the norms are what remain morally acceptable. We as a culture need to take in the unknown and realize that not everything is wrong because someone somewhere told us it is. The fact that The Gay Rights Movement has advanced this far means that we can take it all the way. The United States of America is supposed to be the greatest country in the world. What we have learned with all of the studies and research shows us that we are a very tolerable nation but we still as a whole have a lot farther to go REFERENCE Gay rights movement. 2012). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved fromhttp://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/766382/gay-rights-movement The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline — Infoplease. com. ” Infoplease. © 2000–2007 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease. 03 Dec. 2012 <http://www. infoplease. com/ipa/A0761909. html>. Swibel, J (2009). Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender human rights: the search for international strategy. Contemporary Politics 15(1), 19-35 Macionis, J. J. (2010) Sociology New Jersey Prentice Hall