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Historical Context of One Nation under God (1993) Movie and Era for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement - Essay Example

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The gay fraternity has made remarkable efforts in gaining acceptance of gays and recognition of gay rights in the mainstream society today, despite the strong opposition the group has encountered over the years …
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Historical Context of One Nation under God (1993) Movie and Era for the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement
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Download file to see previous pages The proliferation of gay activism and same sex marriage debates that have dominated in media and political discussions in recent years have had a long standing history that dates several decades ago, when the wider society was still intolerant not only to the practice, but also to the idea of homosexuality. Fundamentalist religious groups such as Exodus International and moralists have never relented in their battles to rid society off this widespread social affliction that is homophobic sexual orientations, and have made sincere efforts to condemn the practice as a sin, and to restore individuals back to heterosexuality through curative therapies. This paper examines the themes highlighted in the documentary film One Nation under God of 1993 that was co-directed and co-produced by Teodoro Maniaci and Francine Rzeznik, both within the historical context in which it was created and within the documentary style it represents. The 1993 era provides both a historical context and a political perspective of the gay rights movement back in time, when both the ex-gay movements and the religious right were equally gaining strength1. This period is very significant in the history of the gay rights movement because it marked a great check-in point for the current homosexuality tolerance and recognition of gay rights in the American society. Simply put, this period had a lot to do with the recent developments in the gay rights movement in the current era where some states have already ratified gay marriages; additionally, the federal government has recognized the union for tax reasons and issued a ban on ex-gay therapies that pervaded the ‘90s. One Nation under God (1993) documentary film highlights the pervasive confusion of male effeminacy and female masculinity with homosexuality in the perceptions of the two leading groups that were attempting to restore homosexuals to a more befitting place in society. The debates of the ex-gay movement feature prominently in a large portion of the movie, with interviews of the movement’s leaders such as Young, who was not only a transsexual, but also a homosexual with a history of sexual trauma, and Exodus International’s president. The documentary also features interviews of the main features Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper and their relationship, as well as fundamentalist Christian leaders, and psychiatrists who favored both sides of the debate in addition to, other ex-gays, and former ex-gays who fell on either sides of the debate too. The 1990’s era was pervaded by religious right wing proliferation of curative therapies for homosexuals2; today, this era gives an impressionable perspective of gay relations in the annals of history. The opening of the documentary presents off-the-street perspectives of homosexuality through interviews that reveal harsh oppositions to the practice due to its contravention of religious beliefs and societal morals. Interestingly, even in what would have been the most liberal places like New York City, a large proportion of people express bitter resentments towards homosexuality by condemning the practice as a sin and asking homosexuals to repent, thus indicating the high intolerance towards gays that pervaded America society back then. This documentary film was a resounding work at that point in time, due to the significance of its subject matter; the early 1990’s remain to be a significant point in the history of gay rights activism. AIDS had thwarted campaigns for gay rights and the gay political progress thoroughly in the ‘80s, resulting to a military ban on gays; this military ban resulted challenges to the subsequent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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