Throughout history, homosexuals have been widely discriminated against and mistreated, and only recently have gay and lesbian rights made great strides for human rights and being treated the same as a heterosexual person. In today society, gay and lesbian rights or LGBT rights have been increasingly gaining support, as the democratic party advocates for more LGBT rights within the United States of America. The gay and lesbian rights movement, although continuing to make many advancements and accomplishing many victories throughout its conception, is still a major controversial issue within today society.
Homosexual men and women both had many enemies before they had gained todays level of support. One major enemy that homosexuals is faced off against is religion. In many religions, homosexuality was deemed as sinful and wholly evil. In countries where Islam is a prevalent religion, homosexuals or homosexual acts are often punishable by death. The Bible has many references that same-gender sexual behavior is sinful and forbidden by God. Many countries have had laws making homosexuality illegal and is often punishable by death or by life in prison. While many of these countries have gotten rid of such laws, some still have them in effect. In Germany during Adolf Hitler’s reign, many homosexuals were captured, put into concentration camps, with a pink triangle on their uniforms to signify that they were homosexuals, where many of them died.
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Back in the early 1900’s, there were very few people advocating or even speaking out for gay and lesbian rights. The first documented gay and lesbian rights organization in the United States was the Society for Human Rights, founded by Henry Gerber in 1924. Henry Gerber was a German immigrant and was inspired to create the Society for Human Rights by a homosexual emancipation group in Germany, the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee. The Society for Humans Rights spread awareness of homosexuality acceptance and published a newsletter called “Friendship and Freedom”. This group however was disbanded just one year later due to police raids. From then onward there were a few more outcries from other homosexual individuals such as Radclyffe Hall and her novel The Well of Loneliness, which focused are the hardships of lesbians. Another individual who spread awareness through the medium of books was Alfred Kinsey. His two books Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female were based on personal interviews with thousands of males and females. The books looked at the sexual activity of each gender and what factors affected it. The comparison of both books showed that homosexuality was more common in men where 46% of males had “reacted” sexually to the same sex. Females were much lower, only 7% had sexually contact with the same sex.
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