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States and their rights

Ellen DeGeneres

Matthew Shepard

Henry Gerber

A Military Story



Gay Rights:

Gay rights refers to the effort to obtain equal rights for all citizens of the United States despite their sexual orientation. These wanted rights apply to all of those who are not heterosexual, or straight. Including:
• Homosexuals: People who are attracted to the same sex.
• Bisexuals: People who are attracted to both sexes.
• Transexuals: Those whose emotional gender does not match their physical appearance, and lastly,
• Transvestites: Those who are are straight but find pleasure in trying on the opposite sex's clothing. Often referred to as "cross dressers".

The gay rights movement educates society about gays and the rights that they want to obtain. There are some people who think that because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transsexual, that the Lesbian and Gay Association, and The Human Rights Champaign. Homosexuality has been around for a long time throughout history. Overtime, attitude towards Homosexuals has changed. Many cultures treat gays differently, some cultures consider it a sin, where as other cultures, such as the Greeks accept it and encourage it. They consider a partnership between a young man and an older man ideal. The Greek feel this way because men are considered upper class in their culture. The Greek consider men the "only ideal person for a loyal partner or lover." Other cultures however feel differently. Some accept it, but do not encourage it, some discriminate towards it, and others punish citizens for it. In the past, Homosexuals have been brutally beaten and even hung because of their sexual orientation. Today however, views vary throughout the world. More and more people are beginning to "support love".

Law and government associated with gay rights varies depending on where you live. Currently, many people are fighting to win gays the right to marry. In the 1930's and 40's, studies made a seven mark scale of how gay a person is, therefore creating bisexuals. The first mark on the scale, number one, was considered straight, the middle mark was considers bisexual, and the 7th mark was considered completely gay. Marks in between signified curiosity, or partial exposure to being Homosexual and then changing your mind. At the time, being gay was considered a physiological disorder. It wasn't until the year of 1973 where people began to no longer classify being gay as a physiological disorder.

Over time, gay rights ad privileges have come a long way. At first, being gay way considered a sin. From there, it was considered a pyscological disorder. Now, it is simply considered a lifestyle. Many have been hurt, or have been ashamed for being gay, but now more and more people are beginning to realize that gay persons have rights just like we do. We are beginning to accept that whether you have dark skin, or light skin, whether you are homosexual, or heterosexual, whether you are male, or female, despite your political affiliations, or your religion, we are all people. We all come from the same place, and at the end of the day, what else really matters?

Being gay in the military:

In the United States now, gays, lesbians, transexuals, and bisexuals are not allowed to be in the Military, under any circumstances. Throughout the 1980's and the 1990's men and women who were either gay or lesbian, were banned from being in the military and being able to serve their country Bill Clinton, who was the president at the time. Things haven't changed. Many issues have come up becuase of this rule. The Defense Department from all different branches of the military shows that in the 80's and 90's, all military branches varying from the navy, army, coast guard, marines etc. discharged meaning removed over 1,500 people each year due to sexual orientation. Many Senior Officials opposed Clintons ideas about banning gays from the Military. Still, many people agree with the senior officials to this day.

Gay and Lesbian Relationships:

The recognition of same sex marriage has been reject by the courts in all states until 1996. The court case Baehr vs. Miike is what had an impact on the changing of this. There has never been a court case up to this one where the government actually had to justify not allowing gays and lesbians to marry. In the state of Hawaii [where this case took place] it was required to show a good reason as to why discrimination against gay and lesbian couples was a state interest. Hawaii courts could not think of a good reason. So it was passed. This was the first circuit court of a Hawaii ruled that a denial of a marriage contract to same-sex partners violated the equal protection laws of the Hawaii constitution. Same sex marriage would soon become legal in the state of Hawaii. The case Baehr vs. Miike was passed by DOMA, otherwise known as the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Doma defines "marriage and spouse" to include only partners of opposite sex and permits states to bar legal recognition performed in other states. The major break though of the gay rights happened in late 1999 when the Vermont supreme court ruled and same-sex couples have the same state constitutional protection and rights as traditional marriages with 2 people of the opposite sex.