Gay Rights and Marriage

By: Natalie Shrewsberry

Background Information

  • The Gay Rights Movement started in 1950.
  • Homosexual men are gay and homosexual women are lesbian.
  • There are laws opposing same sex-marriage.
  • Many homosexuals faced discrimination.
  • For a long time gay and lesbian marriage was illegal. People fought for equality.
  • Laws were different around the country.
  • People open about their sexuality were not allowed to join the military.

The Struggle Continues

  • The Federal Government doesn't recognize gay and lesbian marriage.
  • Civil Unions are legally recognized long-term relationships between the same sex.
  • The Gay Rights Movement teaches about gay issues and encourages gay individuals to express their sexuality.
  • People would try to change their sexuality with psychotherapy.
  • AIDS swept across the US, mostly through gay men. But it also happened between heterosexual people. Many people blamed homosexuals for this and they continued to face discrimination.
  • In 2010 Congress passed a law that banned homosexuals who were open about their sexuality from joining the military. This was know as Don't Ask Don't Tell.
What you need to know about the gay rights movement

Taking A Stand

  • There are many organizations fighting for gay rights. Some are the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association; The Human Rights Campaign; Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian and Gays; The Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
  • In the 1950's, small groups stood up and protested police harassment, they used lawsuits to defend their rights, and became active in politics.
  • The first gay rights march was in Washington D.C. on October 15, 1979.


  • In 1986 the Supreme Court ruled that states can outlaw same-sex marriage. But this was reversed in 2003.
  • In 2004, Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
  • In 2009, Vermont along with other states, replaced the civil unions with same-sex marriage.
  • In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal to ban same-sex marriage.
  • By 2015 more than half the states legalized same-sex marriage.
  • Today same-sex marriage is legal in all 50 states.

The LGBT Flag

The LGBT alliance has a flag with all the colors of the rainbow. This symbolizes gay pride. Pink is for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for the human spirit.
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Final Thoughts

In the end, homosexuals won their long and hard fight. They never gave up and didn't loose hope. Even though they faced discrimination they stayed together and educated the rest of the world about homosexuality, and we learned to accept it. This shows their belief system because they fought for what they believed in.
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