Gay Rights/Marriage

By: Shelby Young

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LGBTQIAP - What does that stand for?

L - Lesbian: A female homosexual.

G - Gay: A homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual.

B - Bisexual: Romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behavior toward both males and females.

T - Transgender: People who have experience a different gender identity or gender expression than their assigned sex.

Q - Queer: An umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender.

I - Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

A - Asexual: The lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low/absent interest in/desire for sexual activity.

P - Pansexual: Sexual attraction, romantic love, or emotional attraction toward people of any sex or gender identity.


1950’s - 1960’s

The gay rights movement was small and made up of small groups of people who called themselves “homophile organizations”. The members of these organizations protested police harassment, became active in political parties, and protected gay rights using lawsuits.


Late 1960’s & early 1970’s

- More people began supporting more activist approaches instead of homophile organizations.

- Gay communities in North America, Europe, and Australia began to become more outspoken.


The U. S. Supreme Court made a ruling that stated that states could outlaw homosexual conduct.



The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in support of same-sex marriage in a case. This brought attention to same-sex marriage, causing it to become a nationally debated issue.

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Recent Events

In 1996...

Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as a union of a man and a woman. It didn’t prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriage, but states could refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in a different state.

In the 2000's...

- The U. S. Department of the Interior made the Stonewall Inn and its surrounding area a national historic landmark in 2000.

- The U. S. Supreme Court reversed its ruling that states could outlaw homosexual conduct when it ruled that a ban in Texas was unconstitutional in 2003.

- Massachusetts became the 1st state in the U. S. to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

- Congress passed and President Obama signed a law ending the military ban on openly gay soldiers joining the armed forces in December 2010. The law officially came into effect on September 20th, 2011.

In 2013...

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled section 3 of DOMA to be unconstitutional.

Section 3 prevented the federal government from recognizing the marriage of a same-sex couple for all federal purposes. This includes things like:
- Insurance benefits for government employees

- Social security survivors' benefits
- Immigration, bankruptcy, and the filing of joint tax returns

- Excluding same-sex spouses from laws that protect families of federal officers

- Excluding laws evaluating financial aid eligibility

- Excluding federal ethics laws applicable to opposite-sex spouses

Court cases that challenged DOMA include, but are not limited to:

- Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management

- Gill v. Office of Personal Management

- United States v. Windsor

- Pedersen v. Office of Personal Management

- Dragovich v. Department of the Treasury

- Torres-Barragan v. Holder

LGBT Myths Debunked

Gay Rights Movement

The gay rights movement began to become more and more public in the United States in the early 1970's, but it doesn't just involve people who are gay. It includes all people who are part of the LGBTQIAP community (LGBT for short) and the people who support them. Some of the most important organizations involved are:

- The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

- The Human Rights Campaign

- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

- Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

People who support the gay rights movement and members of the LGBT community work hard to educate people on issues that people in the LGBT community face, encourage them to "come out", and try to get rid of laws that limit or ban same-sex relationships.

They also attempt to improve how members of the LGBT community are seen by the media and the rest of the world, promote/create laws to protect them from discrimination, and increase punishments for hate crimes committed against them.

People who are for gay rights believe that gays and lesbians have the same rights as heterosexual couples to marriage benefits and legal benefits, like medical coverage and pension rights.

Anti-Gay Rights Supporters

Just like there are people who support members of the LGBT community, there are people who don't. They believe that same-sex marriage is morally wrong, and that it will destroy the sanctity of marriage. They promote the belief that men and women should be with the opposite gender, not with their own gender.

One of the main organizations that are anti-gay is the Westboro Baptist Church, an unaffiliated Baptist church most commonly known for its hate against the LGBT community, among other things. They protest and picket same-sex weddings, parades, and gay people in general.

Some of the main anti-gay protests are that "every child deserves a mother and a father", that "homosexuality is a sin", and that "homosexuality is not a characteristic present at birth, such as race or ethnicity, but rather a personal choice. Thus, they claim that lesbians and gays want “special rights” rather than civil rights.”
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The Stonewall Riots

On June 28th, 1969, police raided a gay bar named the Stonewall Inn, stating that it had an improper license to sell alcohol. They arrested multiple people, but other patrons resisted and gathered outside of the inn, starting a small protest against the police. Some people were claiming that the police officers were abusing patrons and more people began to gather outside of the Stonewall Inn.

A riot broke out, with people throwing various things at the officers, chanting "gay power", and destroying nearby property. It took police several hours to stop the riot, but more violent protests took place near the Stonewall Inn over the next few days.

The Stonewall Riots were the protest that sparked the gay rights movement in the United States. They brought the issues that people of the LGBT community were facing to the public eye and they were also responsible for many protests and other things to support the gay rights movement.

In 2000, the U. S. Department of the Interior made the Stonewall Inn and its surrounding areas a national historic landmark.
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On June 26th, 2015...

As a result of the actions of supporters of the gay rights movement in the United States, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples could legally be married anywhere in the United States.

Assessment Question

The participants in the gay rights movement demonstrated their belief system through their protests by creating and using signs that support the LGBT community and gay rights/marriage, rioting, and organizing events like marches and parades to promote gay rights.

They used mostly peaceful protests, but occasionally oppression would become too strong for people, who would then feel the need to be violent to support their cause and bring it to light of the public. Because of this, cases like the Stonewell Riots would occur.

People who support LGBT rights and people who have had their own rights stolen or violated by oppression have also taken part in court cases that question laws and governmental acts that support anti-gay rights and anti-gay marriage.

The supporters of the gay rights movement are still demonstrating their belief system even now in 2016.
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Works Cited

ProQuest Staff. "At Issue: Same-Sex Marriage." ProQuest LLC. 2016: n.pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 09 May 2016.

Haider-Markel, Donald P. "Same-sex marriage." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 10 May 2016.

Haider-Markel, Donald P. "Gay rights movement." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 10 May 2016.

Haider-Markel, Donald P. "Stonewall uprising." World Book Student. World Book, 2016. Web. 10 May 2016.