Pride Month - History of LGBT equality

Stiff Little Fingers
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Report Thread starter 1 year ago
On this day 50 years ago, American police set out a raid against Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, and the resistance from the LGBTQ+ community became one of the major events in the start of the gay liberation movement. At the time, in the US, LGBTQ+ rights were not really a discussion, with the American Psychiatric Association still classifying homosexuality as a mental disorder, while laws against homosexual sex were on the books in several states, and upheld by the supreme court until 2003 (Lawrence v. Texas). Advance 25 years and openly LGBT persons were barred from serving within the US military, a ban upheld until the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2011 (an act which has been partially undone by the Trump administrations bans on transgender soldiers).

Just a decade ago, the Obama administration signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which added gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability to the federal hate crime law. Since then, the Supreme Court issued two rulings on the subject of same sex marriage, firstly ruling that interpreting marriage and spouse to only apply to opposite sex unions was unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor) in 2013, then 2 years later ruling that the fundamental right to marry was guaranteed to same sex couples by the 14th amendment (Obergefell v. Hodges), which required all states to recognise and perform marriage for same sex couples.

Meanwhile in the UK, within two years of the stonewall riots in the US, the nullity of marriage act was passed, explicitly banning same sex marriage, leading to the first gay pride march in 1972, while homosexual acts were still criminalised until 1980, where in Scotland acts between two men over the age of 21 "in private" were decriminalised. A year later the European Court of Human Rights would strike down the criminalisation in Northern Ireland (Dudgeon v. United Kingdom), resulting in the decriminalisation a year later. However, under the Thatcher government, Section 28 was introduced - banning schools from teaching the acceptability of homosexuality; which would remain in British law until 2003 and resulted in the founding of Stonewall UK. In 1994, the age of consent for homosexual acts was lowered from 21 to 18, still 2 years older than that of heterosexual acts, until 2001 where the European Court of Human Rights ruling in 1997 against discriminatory ages of consent was passed through parliament.

In 2002, same sex couples were granted equal rights to adopt, and were allowed to gain civil partnerships two years later - the same year as the gender recognition act was passed, allowing trans people to legally change their gender. In 2010 the Equality Act would be passed, making discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity illegal, and 3 years later same sex marriage would gain royal assent in England and Wales, followed a year later by Scotland. Northern Ireland would also vote in favour of gay marriage equality, however the largest party in Stormont, the DUP would proceed to block any change to the law.

Globally now 29 countries recognise same sex marriage, while 14 retain the death penalty for homosexuality, while dozens of countries have decriminalised, in whole or in part, homosexuality since the stonewall riots.

What do you think the next 50 years will bring for LGBTQ+ equality?
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Report 1 year ago
I'm hoping that in the next 50 years, worldwide I hope being LGBT+ is not a crime. I also hope to see more countries allowing LGBT+ marriages. In the UK, I hope LGBT+ is normalised e.g. people just won't bat an eye lid at two LGBT+ people holding hands. It is getting much better, but it's still no where close to where it should be. I'm so appreciative of all of the people who show and give their support though, it makes everything so so much better. We need to praise our allies more! :hugs:
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Report 1 year ago
Honestly feels like the world is going backwards tbh. We shouldn't take our rights for granted as it can all change in the blink of an eye, look at Weimar Germany (rather liberal and had the best gay scene in Europe) compared to what happened next. People say 'you have got your rights now' as if they can't be taken away and as if being gay still isn't a crime and punishable by death in some countries

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