Gay Rights

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A homosexual is defined as someone who is sexually attracted to other persons of the same sex. They exist in all classes, social groups, races, positions, and countries, regardless of their age or origin. As far as historians can trace back the past, homosexuals have always been in existence, including Julius Caesar, Plato, and Alexander the Great. Gays have existed for as long as history, but it is only until recently that being gay has actually become a socially acceptable thing. Throughout history, gays have been the victim of an onslaught of discrimination. Gays did not always have equal legal rights, were refused jobs and were subject to violence and harassment. Being gay was a dangerous thing so many people were afraid to come out. Same-sex marriage is a legally or socially recognized marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. As of the Marriage Act 1961, the Australian definition of marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Currently, same-sex marriages are not permitted under Australian federal law and unions between same-sex couples entered into outside the country are not to be recognized as marriage in Australia. In November 2008, Parliament passed laws that recognized same-sex couples in federal law, offering them the same rights as unmarried heterosexual couples in areas such as taxation, social security and health, aged care and employment. This means that same-sex couples who can prove they are in a legitimate relationship have most of the rights of married couples since 1 July 2009. While this is not marriage, they are granted most of the same legal rights. The issue now is whether or not a gay couple should be able to enter into the union of marriage and gain all the exact same benefits and legal rights as a straight couple would.

Gay rights did not always have many supporters. In the past, almost no one spoke out for the equal treatment of homosexuals. Although gays have existed ever since the beginning of recorded history it was not until the 1970’s that a large organized movement for the gay rights began. The Stonewall Riots are considered to be the first time in history that homosexuals fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted against sexual minorities and the event that started the gay rights movement around the world. The Stonewall Inn became a gay bar in 1966 after it had been a restaurant and night club for heterosexuals. It was the only bar in New York where gay men were allowed to dance and attracted many people. Police raids were a very typical thing for bars, raids occurred on average once a month for each bar. During a raid, people would be lined up and would have their identification cards checked. Those without identification or dressed in drag, meaning men dressed in womens clothes, were arrested. Women were required to wear three pieces of feminine clothing and were arrested if found not wearing them. At 1:20 in the morning on June 28, 1969 police arrived in at the Stonewall Inn's double doors and announced that they were taking the place. About 200 people were in the bar that night. Police barred the doors and confusion quickly spread. When they started lining people up, men began to refuse to show their identification cards and police began harassing the patrons of the bar. As people were being taking out of the bar a crowd started to grow. Soon, 100-150 people had gathered outside and the situation became to get heated. Police started beating people they were arresting, a woman in handcuffs fought with four police officers and was hit in the head with a club. She was then throw into the back of a police wagon and the crowd became a mob. The police realized they would not be able to hold back the crowd as it had grown to near 600 people. Ten police officers barricaded themselves inside the Stonewall Inn. Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows. When demonstrators...
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