gay rights

An Evolution Of The American Gay Rights

7 Mins Read June, 06 2023 Posted by Jyoti Jha

This June 2023, the world celebrates its 54th pride month since its first pride parade in 1969. These 54 glorious years stand witness to the evolution that has led to the numerous battles fought for equal rights and standing in society. This article outlines the struggles faced by the gay community in the United States of America over the years. It also documents the rights and liberties that emerged as a result of these struggles. The road to freedom for gay rights activists has been, indeed, very long and harsh. 

Gay Rights- The Struggles Throughout Time

The battle for gay rights in America began around the year 1920. On the 10th of December in 1924, the Society for Human Rights was founded in Chicago, Illinois. 

In 1948, a research paper published by A Kinsey stated that 30% of men have been in or enjoy homosexual activities. 

In 1950 Harry Hay, a gay rights activist, founded the National Gay Rights Organisation called the Mattachine Society. In the year 1950, gay rights in America took a death blow. The community started getting persecuted everywhere.

LGBTQ Rights And The Lavender Scare

The torture continued as gay men and women kept losing their jobs and were fired from military and government positions. This Nazi-like purging later came to be known as the lavender scare. This mass dismissal from places of employment based on sexual orientation was unprecedented. Gay men and lesbian women were seen as sympathizers of the communist governments and therefore viewed as national security risks. This event derived its title from a Senator referring to gay men as lavender lads. 

However, the United States government had long before developed tactics and losses that would specifically target gay men and lesbians. Various psychiatric cleaning procedures were also employed to keep homosexuals out of military service. People who were employed in the military services were also to report in case they saw homosexual acts being performed by other soldiers.

The executive order signed in the year 1953 by Eisenhower, the then President of the United States, banned them from working as Federal Government employees altogether.

However, this executive order actually acted as a shield for many who state away from being sent to Vietnam during the War. Soon gay rights activism was dealt another death blow with the American Psychiatric Association declaring homosexuality as a disturbance with a sociopathic personality.

Gay Rights And The Achievements

Gay Rights And The Achievements

Bearing these struggles in mind, the 1950s remain one of the most important decades for LGBTQ rights all over the world. 

  • Professor Edward Sagarin published his most famous work, “Homosexuals in America”. His work went on to be one of the most well-known and esteemed pieces of literature in the history of gay/LGBTQ rights. The book gave others a perspective and taught them to look at homosexuals with compassion and dignity. He was one of the first people to raise his voice and advocate for the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. 
  • In November of the Year 1950, the then-infamous Mattachine Society was formed. It gave voice to the many gay and lesbian citizens of the United States. They felt empowered and that they had a chance at a normal life with rights and liberties.
  • Another victory for the gay community was Stoutmen v. Riley. In 1951 the supreme court of California ruled that a gathering of homosexuals at a bar was not reason enough to shut it down. 
  • In the year 1952, the founder of the Mattachine Society was arrested on the grounds of lewd behavior. However, after contesting the charges in court, they were dropped, and the society continued to function successfully. 
  • One Incorporated, one of the first-ever LGBTQ rights activist groups, was formed in 1952.
  • Eventually, the Mattachine Society’s New York wing opened up in the year 1955, and the Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian rights group, was also founded. 
  • On December 23rd of, 1959, the supreme court of California gave a ruling reinforcing the rights of the LGBTQ community. It stated that it was unconstitutional to revoke the liquor license from a bar that was a resort for homosexuals (then addressed as sex perverts).

Top Supreme Court Gay Rights Rulings

In the 21st century, the Supreme Court made important decisions about gay rights that affected LGBTQ+ people in the country. Let’s talk about some of these important rulings.

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

The Court declared that state laws punishing adults for having loving relationships with someone of the same gender are not fair. They removed those unfair laws and protected the privacy of gay individuals.

United States v. Windsor (2013)

The Court decided that a federal law that defined marriage as only between a man and a woman was not right. This allowed same-sex couples to get married everywhere in the USA and receive federal benefits and protections.

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015)

This was a major ruling! They made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, so gay couples could get married anywhere in the country.

Masterpiece Cake shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018)

In this case, a baker did not want to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his beliefs. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker but did not exactly say businesses can always refuse service to LGBTQ+ people.

Bostock v. Clayton County (2020)

Here, the Court ruled that it’s not okay to fire someone from their job just because they are LGBTQ+. The law should protect LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination.

These decisions made life better for gay people, but there’s still more work to do to make sure everyone is treated fairly and with respect. We need to keep fighting for equal rights for all LGBTQ+ individuals. The journey for full equality continues.

Best Gay Rights Movements You Should Know About!

Best Gay Rights Movements You Should Know About!

Let us look at some of the top LGBTQ rights movements that shaped LGBTQ+ and gay rights in US legislation. In the 21st century, there are some significant LGBTQ rights movements that have brought about positive changes for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Marriage Equality Movement

One of the most significant gay rights movements of the 21st century was the fight for marriage equality. Before, many states in the USA did not allow same-sex couples to marry. But through activism, advocacy, and court cases, the movement got the desired outcome.

In 2015, the Supreme Court made a historic decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy was a law that prohibited gay and lesbian individuals from serving openly in the US military. This discriminatory policy caused fear and hardship for many service members who had to hide their true identities.

In 2010, after years of activism, Congress repealed DADT, allowing LGBTQ+ individuals to serve openly and honestly in the military without fear of discrimination.

Transgender Rights Movement

The 21st century saw a growing movement for transgender rights, advocating for equality and respect for transgender individuals. Activists fought for access to healthcare, protection from discrimination, and the right to be recognized and respected according to their gender identity.

This movement has led to more inclusive policies and laws that protect the rights and dignity of transgender individuals.

Anti-Bullying and Safe Schools Movement

LGBTQ+ youth often face bullying and harassment in schools because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. To address this issue, the anti-bullying and safe schools movement emerged. Activists and educators worked to create inclusive and safe environments for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This movement led to the implementation of anti-bullying policies and programs that aim to protect LGBTQ+ youth in schools.

The Global Gay Rights Movement

The Qatar gay rights movement is still at an early stage because LGBTQ+ rights are not widely accepted in the country. In Qatar, being gay is considered illegal, and people who identify as LGBTQ+ can face harsh punishments, like imprisonment or fines.

There are no public LGBTQ+ events or organizations in Qatar because of the strict laws against it. People in the LGBTQ+ community often have to keep their identities hidden to avoid discrimination and danger.

In recent years, there have been some small steps toward recognizing LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar. For example, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has promised that LGBTQ+ fans attending the event will not be discriminated against. However, despite the challenges and risks, there are brave individuals in Qatar who advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in small ways.

So, That’s A Wrap!

Recognition of same-sex marriages in all 50 states of the United States of America is the latest achievement of this century-long struggle. The pre-Cold War era events have been discussed in this article. To know more about them in the post-Cold War era and in the 2000s, make sure to check out our next article of this series. There we go through events that carve stepping stones to contemporary gay rights laws. We carefully examine the political, judicial, and bureaucratic scenarios that lead to the current state of affairs.

Read More:

Jyoti Jha

Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *