The Socio-Political Struggle for Gay Rights

Topics: Gay Liberation, LGBT social movements, Homosexuality Pages: 2 (530 words) Published: October 15, 2008
In 1969 the battle for civil rights took a mainstream spotlight after the NYPD raided a bar in the Greenwich Village called the stonewall inn. Three days and nights of rioting ensued after the incident, catalyzing “the gay rights movement from one limited to a small number of activists into a widespread protest for equal rights and acceptance.”(1)

Following Stonewall a flurry of gay rights groups exploded onto the scene. The more prominent of these groups being the Gay Liberation Front(2), commonly called the GLF, who were pushing for radical change viewing the world as the hurdle to overcome, and The Gay Activists Alliance(3) whom wished to earn equality by working within the socio-political world. An example of extreme revolutionist propaganda by early gay rights activists would be a GLF newspaper called “come out!” Stating a credo of social revolution:

“Gay liberation front is a revolutionary group of homosexual women and men formed with the realization that complete sexual liberation for all people cannot come about unless existing social institutions are abolished. We reject society’s attempt to impose sexual roles and definitions of our nature.”(4)

Over the next twenty years the movement would receive stonewalling by the equivalently increasing right wing party. A Conservative congress would strike a lasting near mortal blow to gay rights of marriage in 1996 by passing a national bill called the defense of marriage act(5). Defining marriage as a strictly heterosexual union and, essentially closing the interpretive debate of marriage.

The fight would remain at the state level earning victories in 32 states with the removal of existing anti-sodomy laws and, eleven states offering civil protections for homosexuals by the year 1999(6). It wouldn’t be till five years later in 2004 that the largest victory, yet to be won at the state level, would be performed in San Francisco, California when the state began issuing civil...

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