Gay Rights

Homosexuals: Fight for Rights
Gay rights is a touchy subject especially in the united states. It is the fight for homosexuals to be treated as everyone else, the fight to be given what they desearve, the fight to live without torment, the fight for peace. This nation has the state of mind that how the ideal person lives, is normal, and anyone not living that way is wrong. The people of this country pick on and torment people because they are different or not like them. Why do thay do thiswho knows. John Catlin M. D. states that Many indeviduals that bully other people due to sexual origin, usually are battling sexual insecurities themselves (1) In New York there was a poll taken from the people, on the thoughts of gay rights. Many of them were displeased at the fact that homosexuals were discriminated against, and didnt have the same rights as heterosexuals. In November of 1989, Time magazine took a poll on what the people thought about legal benefits that homosexuals should receive. 62% came back saying that homosexuals should be permitted to receive medical, and life insurance benefits from their life long partner. (101) And yet nothing has come of that yet. Homosexuals deserve equal treatment legally and socially.
Throughout the world homosexual people have been discriminated against for all types of different reasons and basically all of them are unjust. Homosexualality is not caused by abuse at a young age, it is not curable, it is not a disease or disorder and it is defiantly NOT learnt. For decades the incidence of homosexuality in the general population has been estimated to be approximately ten percent. Organisations opposed to gay rights have consistently claimed the number to be much lower. Despite the controversy, ten percent still remains the most widely accepted estimate (Issacson, 101) so why do people think of homosexuals as being strange or weird. There are many people around the world who are discriminating against homosexuals without even knowing it. One of these is when someone calls someone else a bad name such as a Pofter or Fagot, not really meaning it but saying it just as a hurtful name just because everyone else says it. This saying is not meant but it degrades every homosexual in the world every time some uses those words. There is another myth about homosexuals and is that a lot of people think that they are obsessed with sex. Contrary to popular belief, gay men and lesbians are no more inclined to be consumed with sexual thoughts or feelings than heterosexual counterparts, nor are they attracted to everyone of the same sex they meet. (Weinberg, 109) The lives of homosexuals, like the lives of heterosexuals are about much more than sex, but it’s easy to see why people believe these common myths that have been expressed by a lot of people. Many people do not even realise that they know someone who is gay because of the amount of gays that are in the community. Unfortunately, these misguided heterosexuals only knowledge of homosexuality comes from the media or anti-gay organisations that are trying to destroy the gay community, neither of which is likely to show the average gay person or couple in real life. The media is in the business of selling news, and radical behaviour of any kind sells, big time. Anti-gay organisations are in the business of making gay people appear as evil as possible. They will obviously focus their attention on the most radical behaviour that can be found within the gay community. Why do gay people flaunt their sexuality? Why don’t they just keep it private? Well the majority of gay people don’t flaunt their sexuality. As a matter of fact, many go to great lengths to hide their sexual preference. There is a double standard in our society. What some people consider to be flaunting by homosexuals is usually regarded as everyday behaviour for heterosexuals. This is a perfect example : A heterosexual couple walking hand in hand is perceived as normal. Very few would consider their behaviour to be inappropriate or rude, if they even noticed it at all. On the other hand, a lesbian or gay couple show the same behaviour would almost certainly be noticed, and most likely be accused of flaunting their sexuality or promoting their lifestyle. They may be harassed or worse yet, physically attacked which is the case in many situations. Heterosexuals are free to talk about their spouses or dates. They can wear their wedding rings, display pictures of their loved ones on their desks, kiss good-bye when leaving to work, include their significant other in company parties and so on. A gay person who chooses to do the same may be seen as a trouble maker, or a sick homosexual out to prove a point.
Most gay people are not out to make a statement. They simply want to be able to integrate the many aspects of their lives the way heterosexuals are allowed to do. What the majority of people mean when they say that gay people should keep their lives private, is that gay people should keep their lives secret. Imagine your self having to hide the very existence of the most important person in your life, That’s what it is like for a great deal of homosexuals around the world today. Anti-gay activists have promoted the idea that the lives of homosexuals revolve around sex and the pursuit of sexual encounters, and that the only identity homosexuals have is with being gay which is totally wrong. To anti-gay organisations this is the only gay lifestyle that exists, and they do their best to promote this lie. In reality, the lives of gays and lesbians are as varied as the lives of heterosexuals (Garnets & Kimmel, 1993). Some choose to live in long term committed relationships, others choose to remain single. Some couples choose to raise children, others do not. Hobbies, occupations and activities are just as varied as within the heterosexual population. There is no difference.

Another aspect of homosexuality is gay teens. Teen years are a hard time to live in, there is school, dating, first jobs, the pressure of an upcoming adult life. With this being such a time of trials, some teens have it worse off than others: gay teens, they are beat, laughed at, mocked, and hated. Many are forced into denial, and even suicide. Why do teens have this added pressure? Because their peers judge them due to who they date, and who they are attracted to. Matthew Shepard would know this better than anyone else. He was beaten into unconciousness and, tied to the fence of his high school football field until his body couldnt handle it anymore and gave way. (lambda home page) Matthews life was robbed from him, his classmates brutilly killed him because he was a homosexual. Matthew never got his first job, he never got his education, he never got to live. Someone chose to take that from him. Some teens take it from themselves. They cannot handle the stress that their peers put on them. If you teach a young person that their life has no value, theyll treat their life like it has no value (Catlin, 1.) Gay bashing in high schools is getting better but there are still teens out there suffering and afraid to come out, for they fear they will be judged. And they will be, the pain will be there, and they wont let their true self be shown.

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Not only do they face unrestricted discrimination and harassment at school, they often face similar or worse homophobia at home. Parents, unaware of their children’s sexual orientation, often make cutting remarks about homosexual television characters, community members, or the orientation in general. They may not even recognize their comments, but the child (or children) is hanging on to every word, looking for at least a tiny bit of acceptance from family. Many times they find hate instead of acceptance, sometimes to the point of being kicked out of the house at age 14 or 15 when a homophobic parent does find out. This leaves them with nowhere to turn.

Just because something is forcefully driven into the closet doesnt mean it has gone away (Graff, 13) unless society become more accepting of others differences, gay teens will continue to be killed off and this nations views will be like that unto Hitlers.

What about benefits? What legal benefits do a man and woman have that differ from a man and a mans? Try this analogy. A man marries a woman, they

Gay Rights

No one needs to be looked down upon
Two men want to adopt a child in Texas. They have been together for five years and a child would be the one detail that would complete their lives. They filled out the application and it was perfect… it was the perfect home for a child; except there was one small problem that caused their application to be rejected; the fact that they were gay. These people can never have the life that they desire because of their sexual orientation. Scenes like this are happening all over the country and they are going against every thing America stands for. Every one should have the basic privileges of marriage, children, working at a certain place and much more despite their sexuality. There are reasons for and against to deny homosexuals the rights that heterosexuals have . There is no need to take away peoples dreams and freedoms just because they are different. Homosexuals should have the same legal rights and privileges as heterosexuals in the community and elsewhere.
Together with much controversy the state of Vermont has taken a step in the direction of honoring homosexuality. In April of 2000 the House passed a Bill of Civil Unions. (Vermont governor) This bill grants gay and lesbians the benefits of marriage. The governor promised to sign the bill, and the first civil unions may take place July 1st, 2000.(Vermont’s gay marriage bill). Consequently some people are outraged by this decision. Dr. Laura Schessionger has been urging her listeners to demonstrate by calls and mail to Vermont that they are outraged by this new bill (Stop Dr. Laura). She is one of the many opposed to being gay. She calls she calls homosexuality “Deviant and Dysfunctional,” she also calls homosexuals “biological mistakes” (Stop Dr. Laura) Even if homosexuality is dysfunctional does that mean we have a right to outlaw that lifestyle because the majority opposes it?
“I think it is courageous and powerful statement…” a Vermont Democrat said. (Qtd. Vermont governor). This issue is such a hard call to make about marriages between same sex couples. There is a great deal of controversy and an almost equal balance of supporters and those opposed to the proposition. In fact the House passed the bill on a small 19-11 majority.( Gay benefits) It’s evident that there are some homosexual supporters who are not homosexual. In spite of that Vermont realizes that there are basic need people that people required. “Vermont is taking care of its gay and lesbian citizens in away that other states are not.” Said David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign. .(Gay benefits) One of these needs of life is to have a family. People need love and security as much as they need any thing else in a life and no one can deny that. This may possibly also mean that people would travel to Vermont for their civil union ceremony and go back to a state where marriage/civil unions are not allowed.
In response to the idea of traveling to Vermont for the purpose of marriage other states in all probability will not recognize Vermont civil unions.(Vermont’s gay marriage bill) This means these states won’t give them the benefits of marriage/civil union like medical responsibility and state taxes. In fact California has proposed a law that would not recognize marriages from other states.(California passes ban) The state would be as legally sneaky as possible. They are doing something called “Limit on Marriage.” ( qtd. California passes ban) They are insuring that marriage remains a “bond between a man and a woman.” (qtd. McCaleb) How can you say these people aren’t against same-sex marriages?
As soon as Vermont passed its new bill allowing Civil Unions many people stood by with signs and protested. They are so clearly opposed to them you would have to be blind not to see it. California is trying to bend the rules so they won’t have to deal with gay marriages. Miriam G. Santacruz clearly says that under California law, “…it also recognizes marriages from other states.” (qtd. McCaleb) So they will be changing the laws because of, “most people believe marriage should be between a man and a woman,” like Santacruz says. Alongside of California the state of West Virginia is also thinking a similar bill. (Without Standing) This bill would be passed by primarily heterosexuals, also known as the majority of people in the U.S. Throughout time America is not a place where we change to make the majority happy, here in America we care more about individual rights. As Dan Faber said, “We go through the same things heterosexuals do.” (qtd. McAllen) Nevertheless 30 other states have passed laws stating that they would not recognize same sex marriages from other states. (McCaleb) 30 other states are willing to sacrifice one minorities right for the beliefs held by majorities it is starting to look like. It is evident that the gay community is not being treated fairly and given their just privileges. This community is not being treated the same as others in fact. Like patron Gary Murphy said, “What is so ensuring is that gay people will remain second-class citizens,”. (Qtd. California passes ban) What other ways are these people being treated like second-class citizens?
An additional story is of a woman, a woman in Trenton New Jersey who was denied joint custody of her twins. (joint custody denied) She is only allowed visitation of her children because she is the lesbian partner and is not of actual blood to the children otherwise she would most likely have joint custody. The only reason she even gets that little privilege is because she holds a status as a “psychological parent.” Instead her lesbian partner has custody because she is the one who gave birth through artificial insemination in 1994. (joint custody denied) I find this all very terrible. It is the worst feeling in the world not to have your children. Also the associate justice Virginia Long said, “Each appears to be a fully capable, loving parent committed to the safety and welfare of the twins.” What I keep thinking is if this woman is a good capable parent what is the matter? The answer is nothing… the only thing that is keeping her from her children is the fact she is a lesbian. Does that mean if my father became gay he would loose all rights to me? That is not right at all. He would still be the same parent he was before. Like the woman in this case said, “Biology truly doesn’t have anything to do with a parent providing a loving, nurturing environment.” (. joint custody denied) I’m very sure most would agree. Some are still not pleased with this ruling. Despite the fact that they think that same-sex couples should not have children at all they state that this ruling sets an example. Beatrice Dohrn, legal director of the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, said it secures parental status for nonbiological parents in gay families. (. joint custody denied)
Considering that many other states are ruling the same in such cases of parenting and adoption, like the case in Mass. Over two women and their 3 year old son and the couple are separating. (court won’t review) There is also a Florida mans is getting a chance to sue for the ban on adoption to homosexuals. (Florida man can Sue) She should realize the inevitable; the average American family is changing. For example in Florida a man is filing a suit because of their ban on gay adoptions. The American Civil Liberties Union is taking the case. (Florida man can Sue) You can see the idea is spreading over the U.S. that the average family is not what is used to be years ago.

All sorts of ways of life are changing in the U.S. right now. For years churches were strongly opposed to homosexuality. Now thanks to the efforts of the Methodist Church homosexuals are allowed to go and worship and in fact the Methodist church in Omaha has agreed to allow gay members of the congregation. (First United Methodist) furthermore the people of this church voted and 85% voted in favor. (First United Methodist) I think this is a wonderful step because faith and spirituality are a big part of a persons life. It is just as important, if not possibly more as work and family. The Methodists realize that homosexuality is a growing issue that can not be stopped. From the looks of it they are following the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them.” That is exactly what they are doing. The Methodists are pushing to let homosexuals join their congregations nation wide. (First United Methodist) Most are hoping that this will set a precedence to show that being same-sex oriented is not a sin or a crime in the eyes of God unlike it was thought to be years ago.
So now with the changing times we ask the question of what is right in America. The answer is fair treatment; it’s very simple don’t you think? I don’t find it very hard to be polite and fair. It’s not that hard to do. Most would say that it was a fair desire. Every one has life long dreams that you want more then any thing in your life like children, marriage, and faith. The homosexual community doesn’t have these privileges. It’s evident that the homosexual community deserves to be treated fairly. No one needs to be looked down upon and not given the same treatment and rights every other person seems to have. It looks like we are taking the right steps to ensure what these people, and all people deserve; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Social Issues

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