Stonewall Riots

Good Essays
Before the 1850s, the official definition of “homosexual” didn’t exist; people engaged in homosexual activity, but the overall nature of the community was commonly seen simply as atypical behaviors that stemmed from confusion rather than an identity. Then, despite the efforts of early advocacy groups like The Society of Human Rights and The Mattachine Society, the negative theme was only further strengthened into society once the gay community started to become recognized. This was due to that fact that the efforts were shy and attempted to gain recognition slowly with minimal attention--causing them to appear as more isolated and unconfident.
However, although there was a negative association before the Stonewall riots, the harsh connections
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This rhetorical strategy was introduced and popularized by religious groups who used scripture to evoke moral transgressions onto the gay community. One leading figure of this movement was Anita Bryant--a singer and former pageant celebrity who strongly opposed the gay rights movement due to her deep commitment to Baptist beliefs. One aspect of her particular belief system was the principle that homosexuality was inherently wrong, proscribed Biblically, and a crime that ought to be fought legally. Armed with her immense following and and her faith, Bryant dedicated herself to opposing a series of gay rights ordinances like the gay rights legislation in 1977. Most notably, she disputed a Dade County, Florida law which was …show more content…
Religion is a key source of social knowledge, and in 1977, religious acceptance of gayness was merely a glimmer in the eye of progressive theologians. Gay rhetors lacked the necessary religious materials to rebut scourge rhetors, and the dialogue came to an inevitable dead end. The scourge/affirmation polarity was beneficial to the position espoused by Bryant and her allies, and the inevitable dead-end reveals the danger that polar opposition poses to pro-gay rhetors. Scourge rhetoric incorporating references to children presented a troubling persuasion dilemma for lesbian and gay rhetors. First, reference to child molestation is a powerful visceral weapon in the fundamentalist arsenal. Second, it plays into traditional stereotypes of gays, recalling old social knowledge of lesbian and gay persons to stymie the attempt to create new knowledge. Third, the focus on the consequences of gayness enabled anti-gay rhetors to move the discourse from an argument about the need for a particular antidiscrimination measure back to the affirmation/scourge opposition. It gave citizens a rationale on which to premise their distaste for gays without directly expressing distaste for the moral worth

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