The twenty-first century is one of the most vibrant periods in history when it comes to civil rights. This is especially in the United States where the ideology concerning civil rights has been emphasized and highly recognized. The fight for civil rights in America is a journey that has last for many decades and has brought with it many positive changes to the American people in terms of minimizing discrimination (Ware, 2012).
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Even so, the widened awareness and protection of civil rights has, in the recent years, been evaluated alongside groups which encompasses the homosexuals and lesbians who are jointly referred to as gays in most instances. Due to their sexual orientation, the gay community in the United States has continually evolved into a vulnerable group. This is particularly due to the perception and attitudes of the wider community. Accordingly, there have been concerted efforts to push for gay rights over the years. For this case, this research paper seeks to evaluate the civil rights regarding gay rights. There is a particular focus on the history of these rights as well as the developments that have witnessed civil rights regarding the gay. Although gay persons have a different sexual orientation, they are also entitled to the same civil rights that are accorded to other Americans.
Civil rights are essential rights that protect people from being treated unfairly and are designed to enable one to receive equal treatment. Nonetheless, this class of rights differs from civil liberties. Civil rights are narrower as compared to the broad-based civil liberties which are guaranteed by the Constitution at the federal level. Moreover, each individual is entitled to the civil rights whether he or she is a citizen of the United States or an inhabitant of the country. The rights cover areas such as property, marriage, among other aspects. One notion that is popular therefore is that, with the exception of an individual convicted of a felony, rights accorded to any individual are rendered to everyone. As such, they are not to be denied on the basis of one’s race, sex, ethnicity or a protected class (Hahn, Truman & Williams, 2018). Ideally, these are rights meant to protect every American from any form of discrimination from various institutions as well as the government itself and in some cases, other citizens. In spite of the notion that civil rights are everyone’s entitlement, the gay community in the United States and across the globe have had to fight further to be accorded the same rights as other Americans.
From the mid-1950s when the civil rights movement was started, the major concern was how equal civil rights would be accorded to both the whites and the blacks. At the time, the blacks were discriminated against on issues of employment, education, housing, access to public amenities, as well as voting rights (Frank & Muriithi, 2015). These have largely been achieved in due time. The growth of gay and lesbians has however brought new dimensions to civil rights. This has been fueled further by the legalization and recognition of same-sex marriages. Presently, the struggle for gay rights has taken center stage in the United States. The civil rights of this category of persons are being fought for in courtrooms, the streets, and even in the Congress itself. Renowned figures in society continue to disclose their sexual orientation publicly. On the other hand, gay persons are featured more in television shows and movies, not as characters that are novel but as full partakers of various issues in society. Thus, there has been significant progress of gay rights in the United States over time. The recognition of gay rights in the United States has had a long history which is mostly traceable to the mid-twentieth century. Nevertheless, most of the progress has been seen towards the close of the twentieth century and the onset of the 21st century. All the same, although the United is often regarded as a tolerant country when it comes to gay rights, such rights vary from one jurisdiction with certain elements of discrimination still evident. These developments do not change the reality of how the civil rights for the gay are to be fully realized.
Gay people in most societies, including those in America are often discriminated abused and, in some instances, tortured by those who do not view their sexual orientation in a positive way. For most of these human rights violations, there are numerous laws where perpetrators’ may be made answerable to them. Even so, in most instances, these intrusions are never regarded as human rights violations. It is a common happening in the United States. Ideally, although the United States is among the countries that have legalized same-sex behavior. Such legalization has not been entirely effective in safeguarding those that are gay from being discriminated against. As a consequence, lesbians and homosexuals are often discriminated in virtually all aspects of their lives such as in health care, employment, and even housing. For instance, in the US when it comes to employment and housing, gay couples are not accorded similar benefits as opposite-sex couples.
There are equally numerous health disparities that are often witnessed among gays and lesbians just as is the case with transgender and bisexual persons. The gay community is highly diverse and is made up of persons from virtually every race, ethnicity, as well as socioeconomic background. Even so, it is a group that faces a similar combination of challenges in their attempts to receive similar healthcare as that bestowed to other Americans. The challenges vary from healthcare coverage access, care that is culturally competent, as well as federal and state policies which emphasize on social stigma, discrimination, and marginalization (Daniel & Butkus, 2015). Owing to this, unfavorable health outcomes are often witnessed because of the discriminative provision of healthcare to gays and lesbians. Interestingly, the civil rights pertaining to health often impact other aspects of the lives of gay individuals. For instance, by according equitable access to forms of employment, fair opportunity is viable.
Civil rights in the political realm have also pointed to the segregation of the gay people when it comes to political issues although the trend is slowing changing. The disgust rhetoric as explained by Gadarian and van der Vort (2017) is one of the dimensions of political exclusion of the gay and lesbians. Disgust has influence in politics in terms of how it shapes people’s attitudes by raising negative perceptions towards certain groups thus reducing the support for policies which have the intent of benefitting such groups. In most instances, it appears to lead to the disapproval of gays and lesbians and preferences for policies that are exclusive. Consequently, such policies can alter explicit and implicit support for the rights of gays and lesbians, whether by way of social exposure or by induction (Gadarian & van der Vort , 2017). Presently, there are clear indications that the persistent fight for the rights of lesbians and gays has been fruitful. The disgust rhetoric no longer operates in the exact manner as it used to in the past. Public opinion towards gays and lesbians has substantially and rapidly shifted towards more inclusion.
All in all, the issues of civil rights regarding the gays are those that illicit many reactions and which bring about new dimensions in the realization of the civil rights. Although the United States has made enormous efforts in bridging the gap between the equal treatment of all Americans, the gays present the most vulnerable cases. They are not only discriminated in areas such as housing, employment, education, and even healthcare, but rarely find adequate protection in the current laws. Nonetheless, the fight for gay rights remains a persistent one with those that push for such rights making the struggle known in courts, the streets and in Congress. However, the gains made in the fight for the civil right for the gays cannot be undermined. The progress made currently cannot be compared to the challenges faced by them in past decades. Today, there is a wider inclusion of the gay in full participation of societal issues. There are slowly being regarded as members of the society who have a role to play in different aspects and whose rights are equally important. Ideally, the sexual orientation of lesbians and gays is gradually being ignored as a ground to discriminate them. The gay community just as the rest of the Americans is entitled to civil rights enjoyed by others.
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