The Comparison Between Civil Rights and Gay Rights Movement

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"Even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – ‘we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal'."

-Martin Luther King Jr.

The Civil Rights movement may have started out on a mission to improve the lives of the large population of African-Americans, but who would have guessed that King's quest for racial integration would provoke the same quest for individual rights by another completely different group of people, this time the Gay and Lesbians of society. The quest for equal rights by people, who had unjustifiably been repressed for hundreds of years, would spur and give rise to another group of citizens. While their backgrounds may be totally different, their purpose remained the same as it remains for all members of American society; "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Michael Nava and Robert Dawidoff clearly show that the civil rights movement of the mid 20th century was followed by the gay rights movement in the latter part of the century. Their methods, arguments, and conclusions clearly resemble King's and it seems as if they probably took a lot from him to base their own arguments for their own cause. It seems that King would have supported their cause or at least the ways in which they fought to get the freedom and the rights that they so naturally deserve. The Civil Rights movement of the mid 20th century was a time of great social change in America. Many people such as Martin Luther King Jr., decided at this time that they could not wait any longer for justice. The racial discrimination and segregation had reached unbearable and intolerable heights that had been hurting the African-Americans in more ways than one could even imagine. They suffered from violence, in their community and by others, as well as extreme poverty and

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