Documents of the LGBT Movement
by Chuck Stewart
May 2018, 248pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5501-6
$94, 79€, A135
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5502-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Homosexuality was considered to be a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and treated as criminal behavior until 1973.

Beginning from the First People, through the influx of European settlers and the slave trade from Africa, to the modern era, this book presents and discusses documents that reflect pivotal moments in the LGBT rights movement in North America.

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
Chuck Stewart, PhD, is an independent researcher and writer on LGBT topics. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Proud Heritage: People, Issues, and Documents of the LGBT Experience; The Greenwood Encyclopedia of LGBT Issues Worldwide; Gay and Lesbian Issues: A Reference Handbook; and Homosexuality and the Law: A Dictionary. He is also author of Sexually Stigmatized Communities—Reducing Heterosexism and Homophobia: An Awareness Training Manual that was used to create training programs used by the Los Angeles Police Academy. Stewart also publishes the legal self-help book Bankrupt Your Student Loans and Other Discharge Strategies as well as books and training manuals on environmental issues in residential real estate. Stewart holds a doctorate in education with certificate in women's studies from the University of Southern California. His first degrees were in physics and math and worked for many years in aerospace. He has taught at all levels of education and currently teaches math and statistic courses for National University. He was a classical ballet dancer for 25 years, and for the past 20 years has taught ballroom and western dancing to the gay and lesbian community. Stewart founded and guided Out Dancing Ballroom from 2000 to 2006, a Los Angeles dance troupe dedicated to same-sex couple ballroom dancing.


"A worthy addition to the social-science reference shelves of public, high school, and college libraries."—Booklist, October 1, 2018

"This book is a strong addition to both reference and circulating collections."—School Library Journal, November 1, 2018

"Documents of the LGBT Movement is a valuable supplement to histories on this topic and is recommended for all libraries where there is a demand for material on this timely subject."—ARBA, December 6, 2018

Eyewitness to History

ABC-CLIO’s Eyewitness to History series provides primary documents accompanied by invaluable contextualizing information to help readers understand historical developments, events, and individuals. The books’ format allows for a remarkable range of documents that showcase a wide variety of perspectives, including personal narratives, letters, and first-hand accounts; newspaper stories, op-ed pieces, and contemporary reactions and responses; and government and legislative documents, such as laws, speeches, and court testimony.

Each title in the series offers a fascinating documentary history devoted to a significant era, event, or social movement. The carefully curated primary sources give the actual words of people who lived through these past times, empowering today’s readers and researchers to consider the topic critically, fairly, and intelligently.
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