While most would think of the modern Gay Rights Movement as beginning in the 1960s, in reality, the issue of nonheterosexual human behavior within society and the campaign to achieve equality and acceptance have existed far earlier. Beginning with the First People in the Americas and their acceptance of tribal members who did not conform to gender and sexual binary roles, to the expansion west and establishment of the United States as a Republic, to the contentious struggles for equality in the 20th and 21st centuries, this reference traces the development of the Gay Rights Movement through the examination of primary source materials related to the incremental changes toward making America safe for all people.
These documents enable readers to reflect on pivotal moments in the LGBT rights and sexual equality movement in the past up to the achievement of marriage equality. A modern chronology traces key events in the Gay Rights Movement across the last 70 years, such as those during the World War II era, the formation of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles in the 1950s, to the Stonewall Riot in New York in the late 1960s, the elimination of the category of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, the judgment in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court that laws criminalizing sodomy are unconstitutional, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in all U.S. states in 2015.
- Provides a concise yet comprehensive review of the LGBTQ rights movement from the earliest days of human society in what would become the United States to the present
- Highlights primary document resources that embrace and reflect the diversity found in the LGBTQ community
- Documents how the Gay Rights Movement emerged within an era of widespread antigay persecution, when it would seem that an uprising to achieve equality be least likely