Civil Rights for LGBT Gay Essay

Pages: 8 (2668 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

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The constitutional bans have made it more difficult for SSM advocates to achieve their desired policy change, but in the vast majority of these 27 states, the odds that either the legislature or the courts would have legalized SSM were pretty low from the start (Keck, 2009).

Direct democracy has resulted in very different outcomes in gay relationship rights contests in the United States and Switzerland. In the United States, direct democracy increasingly impeded pro-gay relationship rights legislation; in Switzerland direct democracy has promoted pro-gay relationship rights legislation. Direct democracy, unlike representative democracy, occurs when citizens vote on the laws themselves. In the United States these contests usually only occur at the state or local level of government when citizens are given the chance to vote on initiatives, referendums, or propositions, while in Switzerland they are more prevalent (Doney, 2011).

Many policy makers argue that direct democracy creates a tyranny of the majority in which the majority impedes the rights of minority citizens. However, others disagree and cite that these contests advance gay rights as seen in Switzerland. This created the dilemma of why direct democracy hindered gay relationship rights legislation in the United States but advanced similar legislation in Switzerland, and what factors potentially created this variation in outcome (Doney, 2011).

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TOPIC: Essay on Civil Rights for LGBT Gay Assignment

The Gay Rights Movement is rooted in what are known as the Stonewall riots. These riots marked the first major attempt of gays to organize themselves and to resist discrimination. In the summer of 1969 policemen in New York started to raid unlicensed bars, ensuing in closings of five gay bars with minor street turbulence. "The Stonewall Inn, an unlicensed and Mafia-operated bar in Greenwich Village, was raided by nine policemen in the early mornings of June 28th 1969. As the policemen arrested and escorted five employees and customers, they faced an unexpectedly angry and violent mob outside the Stonewall Inn, yelling, throwing coins, rocks, beer bottles, and bricks at the policemen. During the following forty-five minutes, the nine policemen were involved in a violent struggle, in which the protesters were beaten by policemen, and in which the crowd tried to set the bar with the policemen inside on fire. As police reinforcement arrived, the crowd which had already rose to about 400 angry protesters, finally spread out, but re-gathered for two additional nights around the then-closed Stonewall Inn to protest against the police's discrimination of gay bars" (Nguyen, 2012).

At present, the United States is divided on the issue of same-sex marriage: some states have permitted it while others have prohibited it. The debate over same-sex marriage is compared to the house divided metaphor and slavery, discussing how recent events illustrate this conflict and the incompatibility of the two sides. There are many people who argue for protecting marriage between a man and a woman as a fundamental civil and human right in order to protect human dignity and establish a foundation of virtue upon which to base individual rights and liberties as well as uphold the separation of powers inherent in the American constitutional form of government. While on the other side there are those who argue that marriage is a personal decision and should be one that everyone should be able to make on their own. This issue is not going to just go away; dual-gender and same-sex marriages will inevitably clash and will not be able to coexist for any significant amount of time. Efforts to mitigate this conflict should be taken now, and the institution of marriage should be shored up (Wardle, 2010).

The subject of mental health of youth and young adults who are sexual orientation or gender identity minorities is timely as America plans for healthcare reform. Provisions have been made in proposed legislation to include new data collection tools to track diseases and procedures by sexual orientation or gender identity for the first time in the nation's history. Mechanisms to be able to identify and track aggregate data by sexual orientation and gender identity will enable health planners, clinicians, and researchers new capacities to gauge the health status of LGBT youth and to better plan treatment interventions to improve their health and well-being. The plan also includes a provision for partners to share tax benefits for their health expenses. At this time of momentous change in the U.S. health delivery system and expanding awareness and recognition of the civil rights of sexual minorities (Weber, 2010).

This nation was founded on the idea that a group of people, all different, came together to form one nation. This basic idea has not always resonated throughout history though. Instead of embracing the differences amongst the people, the majority in this country have ridiculed and discriminated against those who were different, just because they were. The latest group of different people, the LBGT, is no different. They are fighting the same battle that many others have fought over the years; just the name of their fight is different. The nature is very much the same. All of those who have been labeled as being different from the majority have wanted nothing more than to be able to exercise their basic constitutional rights that were given to them when this country was founded. The fight has been a long, hard one and is one that will not be resolved in a timely manner, but it will be resolved. Eventually the LGBT group will get the equalities that they want, but it won't be until there is another group that is identified as different, and the focus will shift to the new group as the current one will no longer be novel.

References

Chua, L.J. (2011). How does law matter to social movements? A case study of gay activism in singapore. University of California, Berkeley.

DeLaet, D.L. & Caulfield, R.P. (2008). Gay marriage as a religious right: Reframing the legal debate over gay marriage in the United States. Polity, 40(3), 297-320.

Doney, J.R. (2011). Majority Tyranny or Minority Power? Impact of Direct Democracy on Same-Sex Relationship Rights. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1082&context=honors

Keck, T.M. (2009). Beyond backlash: Assessing the impact of judicial decisions on LGBT rights. Law & Society Review, 43(1), 151-185.

LGBT Rights. (n.d.). Retreived from http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights

Nguyen, M.T. (2012). Civil Rights - The History of Gay Rights. Retreived from http://www.enderminh.com/minh/civilrights.aspx

Riggle, E.D., B., Rostosky, S.S., & Horne, S.G. (2009). Marriage amendments and lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in the 2006 election. Sexuality Research & Social Policy, 6(1), 80-89.

Russell, G.M. (2004). The dangers of a same-sex marriage referendum for community and individual well-being: A summary of research and findings. Angles: The Policy Journal of the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies, 7(1), 1 -- 3.

States that Allow Gay Marriage. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://statesthatallowgaymarriage.com/

Wardle, L.D. (2010). A House Divided: Same-Sex Marriage and Dangers to Civil Rights (2010). Liberty University Law Review, 4(3), p.537-591.

Weber, S. (2010). Guest editorial: Special issue on mental health nursing care of LGBT adolescents and young adults. Journal of Child and Adolescent… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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