Gay and Lesbian Issues
A Reference Handbook
by Chuck Stewart
May 2003, 403pp, 6x9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-372-4
$75, £56, 63€, A108
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-373-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country in the world to allow marriage between same-sex partners. In Uganda, homosexuality is a crime punishable by life imprisonment. Depending on where you are in the world, homosexuality is an “unspeakable love,” a biological deviance, a legitimate alternative lifestyle, or simply a non-issue.

Explores the contentious history of the international gay rights movement from its inception in Germany in the 1800s to today.

Gay and Lesbian Issues: A Reference Handbook traces the developments, people, and organizations responsible for bringing homosexual issues to the public’s attention. In addition to exploring such controversial issues as gays in the military and child adoption, this title discusses court decisions, pivotal events, and key individuals like Magnus Hirschfeld, Radclyffe Hall, and Harvey Milk, the San Francisco town supervisor who along with Mayor George Moscone was murdered by ex-supervisor Dan White.

What happens when a same-sex couple marrying in Holland returns to the United States expecting to be treated as legally married? This one of a kind reference explores the interplay of international politics with U.S. policies. Students, administrators and parents alike will discover a wealth of supportive data and statistics on hate crimes, adolescent suicide, military discrimination and much more.


  • Primary source documents include Colorado Amendment 2, the Crittenden Report, Executive Order 10450 (Dwight Eisenhower), "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Society for Human Rights charter, and the United Nations declarations on human rights and torture
  • The chronology begins with Germany in the 1800s and shows how during times of cultural stress, such as war or economic depression, antigay sentiments increase
Chuck Stewart, PhD, is a consultant and writer on the topic of gay and lesbian issues and rights. He is author of ABC-CLIO's Homosexuality and the Law: A Dictionary.


"Information on the history of the gay rights movement, discrimination, hate crimes, family and legal issues, and various professional organizations can be found in this thoroughly researched and comprehensive reference work. All the material is easily located through the excellent index and table of contents . . . Gay and Lesbian Issues may prove to be the benchmark reference source on this subject."—School Library Journal, October 1, 2003

"[A] useful reference work worthy of inclusion in any collection."—American Reference Books Annual, March 1, 2005

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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