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Gay and Lesbian Rights - Assignment Example

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Gay and Lesbian Rights The reorganization of gays and lesbians after WWII, as discussed in The Rise of a G&L Movement: the Homophiles Start Over came up against emerging forces that were not present before the war…
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Gay and Lesbian Rights
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Download file to see previous pages While homosexuality did not have anything to do with communism, the power of the US was related to gender with homosexuality being seen as a surrender of one’s masculinity (Adam 56). At around this time, there was already the feeling among the political reactionaries that homosexuality would destroy the American society. This led to its repression in federal, state, and local governments across the US with authorities arresting homosexuals in gay bars. This reactionary activity meted out on homosexuals had an immense impact on homosexuals as they were fired and taken to mental institutions by the end of the 40s (Adam 57). In the 50s, gays and lesbians allied themselves to other minorities with the aim of having a liberal society, initially taking a cautious approach with the aim of ensuring survival and a reduction of hostility (Adam 60). The war had opened up increased opportunities at employment for gay people, whereas also allowing them to meet other gay people and experience gay culture at port cities when they were deployed. However, the end of the war brought with it a clamor for a return to the original social order that did not have a place for gay people. The tensions that arose from this reactionary attitude led to the rise of a homophile movement, especially among working class women and men who had been demobilized from the army. The most important of these movements was the Mattachine Society in 1951 in LA. The main aim of this society was to unify gays and lesbians who had been isolated from one another, education of all people on the probability of an ethical homosexual community; and assist those gays and lesbians under oppression. However, the movement reversed its objectives under pressure in 1953 to a low-key movement looking for accommodation. The homophile movement was again revamped with the entry of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in 1955 (Adam 64). However, it was also more inclined to fighting for accommodation until the terror from the reactionaries subsided. By the 1960s, the homophile movement, had become part of the larger social upheaval and was not satisfied with simple accommodation and assimilation (Adam 68). The Beats movement of the 60s gave rise to cultural dissident zones in New York and San Francisco, including gays and lesbians. This increased the boldness of the DOB and Mattachine movements, which expanded to major cities across the US, only to be met with resistance again, especially politically. However, taking a leaf from the Civil Rights Movement, gays, and lesbians also began to call for their acceptance as full equals (Adam 72). In Making History: the Very Mad Scientist: Frank Kameny, the author also discusses the effects of the end of WWII on gays and lesbians, especially after they were fired from government and military positions. One of the people who suffered from this action was Frank Kameny, who grew up in New York before moving to Washington D.C. after completing Ph.D. studies at Harvard. The U.S. Army Map Service soon employed him before being fired in 1957 (Marcus 94). After attempting to get his job back for three years by himself, he finally decided to join up with other gay and lesbian movements. He joined Jack Nichols in 1961 to form the Washington D.C. Mattachine Society, which brought him to the attention of the FBI. Frank was soon to take part in protests, become involved in court cases, confrontations, and a constant subject of FBI surveillance. In 1957, he was called back from an assignment and accused of being gay, which was visible from his frequent visits to gay bars. This resulted in his being served with notice that he was to be fired for being a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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