Gay rights has become more and more prevalent, particularly in the past 40 years Gays have actively sought to end prejudice and discrimination against them based on their sexuality. They have championed to change laws, fight job discrimination and harassment, eliminate homophobia and hate crimes against homosexuals. Gays and: lesbians believe they have made significant progress in a changing society and how society views the Gay community. Some believe that there is a lot of change needed before they have equality (Helicon Publishing, 2005) The issue of gay rights shows social stratification. Some say the “Gay Rights Movement” came into the limelight with the 1969 Stonewall riot. The New York police had a reputation of targeting gay bars for harassment and arrests. In June 1969, they raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village. This was the last straw, and the patrons of bar started a riot that lasted well into the following day. In today's society there, organizations, demonstrations, commemorative events, and parades, this includes the Gay Pride March. There were other movements in the 1940’s and 1950’s and more than 40 homosexual organizations prior to the riots (Social Stratification and Homosexuality). After the riots, gays and lesbians structured such political groups and service agencies as Act Up, the Gay Liberation Front, Gay Activists Alliance, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Lesbian Rights Project, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Gay Rights Advocates, and Queer Nation, and many more (Helicon Publishing, 2005). The topic of gay and lesbian political activism is not without risk, and people with limited and compromised rights normally should not be putting themselves at risk. Society has had a wavering view on how homosexuality should be treated. It is difficult for some in society to accept that homosexuality exist as it does. Sociological research is needed to find ways to educate society on equal rights for all, and why homosexuals desire these rights. (Schaffner & Senic, 2006) If we are to look at activism in broad strokes, any open avowal of homosexuality in a chiefly heterosexual society is looked at as a political act. Many Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender groups are looking to changing how people look at coming out. There is a selection of heterosexual society that sees Equality for Gays as a threat to society, and the values and norms our society has established (Helicon Publishing, 2005). “The lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population has become an increasingly important force in American politics.” (Schaffner & Senic, 2006) Knowing that the LGB community is becoming an influential force in politics also tells us they are becoming a pivotal part of society as well. Much of this influence is due to the aforementioned groups and their activism. Studies have shown that LGB groups tend to favor the Democratic Party. This can influence the laws that shape our society, making the Gay Rights Movement and powerful sociological movement... “This sexual identity gap has been chronicled in political science research, but research addressing the factors that draw LGB voters to the Democratic Party at a much higher rate than the general population is lacking.” Gay voters are looking to have the same rights as straight voters when it comes to topics such as; marriage, health care and civil rights (Schaffner & Senic, 2006). “LGB voters may have been selecting healthcare as an issue priority at a higher rate for various different reasons. Unfortunately, the limitations of the exit poll prevent us from understanding more about this difference. Yet, the results from the first survey analyzed in this paper provide some evidence that one of the healthcare concerns that LGB voters may be prioritizing is that of health benefits for same sex partners.” (Schaffner & Senic, 2006) In the past 50 years, society has begun to redefine how we view people as individuals. Society as a whole has become more individual centric. Time has shown that sexuality is no longer dominating how we define a family. The public is becoming more and more accepting of same-sex relationships. How families are defineded is more focused on individual preference rather than sexual orientation. “Using regression models on cross-national data, we show that (1) high levels of individualization and gender equality provide a "cultural opportunity structure" that gives rise to active lesbian and gay social movements and liberalized state policies on same-sex relations and that (2) active lesbian and gay social movement sand liberal state policies each facilitate the other” (DAVID, 1999). It is essential to do sociological studies of The Gay Rights Movement to see how society changes. Things like economic development and democratization and how Gay rights changes these things will be valuable to study and weigh difficulties and successes. (DAVID, 1999) One thing that will be forever constant in society is change. Whether the Gay Rights movement results in full equality for all homosexuals is yet to be seen. Steps have been taken , and society is adapting. Despite individual preferences, it is crucial for the growth of society for people to evolve.
DAVID, E. (1999, March 1). The Individualization of Society and the Liberalization of State Policies on Same-Sex Sexual Relations. Social Forces, 77. Helicon Publishing. (2005). Gay rights movement. In Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia. Schaffner, B., & Senic, N. (2006, March 1). Rights or Benefits? Explaining the Sexual Identity Gap in American Political Behavior. Political Research Quarterly. Social Stratification and Homosexuality. Http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-26957,articleId-26903.html>.