Gay And Lesbian Rights In The United States / Edition 1

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The movement for gay and lesbian rights in America is a response to long-held beliefs that have, at times throughout the history of the United States, made homosexuality legally, politically, and socially unacceptable. This collection of primary documents explores those beliefs and their counter-arguments, providing varying viewpoints on the complex issue of gay and lesbian rights. Personal testimonies, laws, opinion pieces, court cases, and other documents, dating from colonial times to the present day, encourage students to challenge their assumptions and strengthen critical thinking skills.

The struggle for gay and lesbian rights in the United States is founded on the idea that feelings of love and sexual attraction between persons of the same sex are natural, moral, normal, psychologically healthy, and deserving of full equality in all aspects of society. The documents presented in this unique collection clearly portray the arguments that have been used to refute this idea, and how homosexuals in U.S. society have fought for acceptance as people worthy of equal rights. The struggle is traced chronologically, providing a multifaceted overview of the issues for anyone studying the history and volatility of this movement.

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Editorial Reviews

Some of the most reliable research material is found in primary source documents, and increasingly more collections of this material are being published for specific periods or events in history. This book joins the fray with gay/lesbian documents that begin with a report by explorers of Native American transgendered healers in 1677. Between each entry, there are explanatory comments by the editors, who also provide an introduction to the book. The time line included begins with 1924, and there is a list of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered) organizations that can be found on the Internet. This collection of primary documents is fascinating to anyone interested in or researching GLBT history. The documents clearly show the evolution of thought on issues of homosexuality. The wording and tone of the writings will give students and adults an idea of the intensity of oppression and the hatred that GLBT people have felt over the years. Now that feelings are slowly changing, one hopes that these documents will clarify the depth of change that this community has undergone. Although an important collection, the book falls short in the introduction. The authors try to compare the "homosexuality is unnatural" thesis to the fact that people do unnatural things all day long. The argument that people are "all abnormal in some aspect" fuels the fires of those seeking to criticize homosexuality. Instead of strengthening the acceptability of homosexuality, the logic fails. That said, this excellent and eye-opening book will be invaluable to most collections. 2003, Greenwood, 368p.; Glossary. Index. Biblio. Chronology., PLB. Ages 15 to Adult.
—Lynn Evarts
Library Journal
The author of the now classic Spirit and the Flesh, Williams (anthropology, history, & gender studies; Univ. of Southern California) has joined with Retter, an accomplished lesbian archivist, to compile an annotated collection of important source material. The focus here is on legal materials or those that illuminate legal issues. Divided into five sections and arranged chronologically, the book begins with a section called "The Clash of Religions" and includes selections from the Bible, since it was the foundation for legal thought in Colonial America. With Williams's expertise in American Indian culture, there are also many early accounts of their interactions with Europeans. Middle sections cover the periods 1775-1950 ("Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness"), 1950-77 ("Civil Rights and Civil Liberties"), 1977-87 ("Backlash"), and 1987-2000 ("Queer America"). The final entry is from Lorri Jean's speech at the 2000 Millennium March on Washington, DC. Each of the 175 entries has a brief introduction that provides interpretation and context. Unfortunately, most documents are only excerpts from the originals. Most libraries would be better served by Jonathan Ned Katz's standard anthologies, Gay American History and Gay/Lesbian Almanac, though both are sadly out of print. Advanced students would also find William B. Rubenstein's Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law more helpful.-David Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib., Philadelphia Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

WALTER L. WILLIAMS is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California.

YOLANDA RETTER is staff librarian of the ONE/Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Pt. I The Clash of Religions 1
Document 1 Navajo Sacredness for Nadleeh 3
Document 2 Illinois Indian Transgender (1677) 5
Document 3 Miami Indian Sodomy (1702) 5
Document 4 Native American Transgendered Females 7
Document 5 Lakota Respect for Two-Spirit People (1982) 8
Document 6 The Bible: Sodom and Gomorrah 10
Document 7 The Bible: The Abominations of Leviticus 12
Document 8 The Bible: Ruth and Naomi 15
Document 9 The Bible: David and Jonathan 15
Document 10 The Bible: Jesus 17
Document 11 The Bible: Paul 19
Document 12 Spaniards' Suppression of Sodomites (1519-1540s) 22
Document 13 Virginia Sodomy Law (1610) 23
Document 14 The Execution of Richard Cornish (1624-1625) 23
Document 15 William Plaine Executed in New England for Teaching Masturbation (1646) 24
Document 16 African American Jan Creoli Killed and Burned in Dutch Colony (1646) 25
Document 17 Sara Norman and Mary Hammon Accused of Lewd Behavior (1649) 25
Document 18 New Haven Law Prohibits Lesbianism (1655) 26
Document 19 Puritan Sermon on The Cry of Sodom (1674) 27
Document 20 Pirates in the Caribbean (1724) 30
Document 21 Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) 31
Document 22 Spanish Priests Condemn Transgendered Yuma Indians (1775) 32
Document 23 Spanish Colonial Suppression of Sodomites in California (1775-1777) 32
Pt. II Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: The Development of a Homophile Identity in the United States, 1775-1950 35
Document 24 United States Declaration of Independence (1776) 38
Document 25 United States Constitution and Bill of Rights (1791) 40
Document 26 Bachelor Friendships of the Nineteenth Century 42
Document 27 National Women's Rights Convention (1852) 43
Document 28 Walt Whitman and the Homoerotic Poetry of Democracy (1860) 45
Document 29 Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1868) 46
Document 30 Walt Whitman's Democratic Vista (1870) 46
Document 31 Females Passing as Men (1894) 48
Document 32 Anthony Comstock Seeks to Imprison Inverts (1900) 49
Document 33 United States Navy Entraps Homosexuals (1919) 50
Document 34 Society for Human Rights (1924) 51
Document 35 The Well of Loneliness (1929) 55
Document 36 Sigmund Freud On Homosexuality (1935) 56
Document 37 Lesbian Challenges Georgia's Sodomy Law (1939) 58
Document 38 Lesbians in the Women's Army Corps (1945) 59
Document 39 Psychiatrists Oppose Homosexual Rights Laws (1945) 60
Document 40 Vice Versa, America's First Lesbian Magazine (1947) 61
Document 41 Vice Versa Predictions (1947) 63
Document 42 Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts (1950) 65
Pt. III Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Movement in the United States, 1950-1977 67
Document 43 Formation of the Mattachine Society (1950) 72
Document 44 Mattachine Society Meetings (1950) 73
Document 45 Mattachine Protests Police Entrapment (1952) 74
Document 46 Formation of ONE, Inc. (1952) 76
Document 47 Jim Kepner's First Mattachine Meeting (1953) 77
Document 48 Tampa Lesbian Bar Raid (1953) 78
Document 49 Daughters of Bilitis (1955) 79
Document 50 Founding of ONE Institute of Homophile Studies (1956) 80
Document 51 Gay Bashing in Massachusetts (1956) 82
Document 52 Allen Ginsberg and the Beatniks (1956) 83
Document 53 Crittenden Report on Homosexuality in the United States Navy (1957) 85
Document 54 Evelyn Hooker Psychological Research (1957) 86
Document 55 Supreme Court Rules ONE Is Not Obscene (1958) 89
Document 56 Mattachine National Convention (1959) 92
Document 57 A Homosexual Bill of Rights (1961) 93
Document 58 Jose Sarria Runs for San Francisco City Council (1961) 96
Document 59 ACLU Begins Gay Rights Cases (1963) 97
Document 60 Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, and the March on Washington (1963) 99
Document 61 Mohave Indian Two-Spirit Person (1964) 100
Document 62 Frank Kameny Resists Job Firing (1964) 102
Document 63 Mattachine Pickets the White House (1965) 103
Document 64 San Francisco Activism (1965) 105
Document 65 Lesbian Activism and The Ladder (1966) 107
Document 66 Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny Push the Pentagon (1966) 109
Document 67 Supreme Court Excludes and Deports Homosexual Immigrants (1967) 110
Document 68 PRIDE and The Advocate Magazine (1967) 111
Document 69 Rev. Troy Perry Founds the Metropolitan Community Church (1968) 113
Document 70 Homophile Action League (1968) 115
Document 71 A Gay Manifesto (1969) 116
Document 72 Stonewall Riots in New York (1969) 118
Document 73 Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance (1970) 120
Document 74 Gay Lib Zaps Psychologists (1970) 121
Document 75 Congress to Unite Women (1970) 122
Document 76 The Woman Identified Woman (1970) 123
Document 77 NOW Endorses Lesbian Rights (1971) 124
Document 78 Lesbian Nation (1972) 126
Document 79 Democratic Party Convention (1972) 127
Document 80 Multiple Struggles (1973) 128
Document 81 Dr. Howard Brown Comes Out (1973) 129
Document 82 National Gay Task Force Founded (1973) 130
Document 83 Lambda Legal Defense Fund (1973) 131
Document 84 Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (1973) 132
Document 85 American Psychiatric Association Vote (1974) 133
Document 86 Lesbian Child Custody Rights (1974) 135
Document 87 Lesbians as the Vanguard of Feminism (1975) 136
Document 88 Gay Asians (1975) 137
Document 89 Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles (1976) 138
Pt. IV Backlash: The Reaction to Gay and Lesbian Progress in the United States, 1977-1987 139
Document 90 Anita Bryant Defeats Miami Gay Rights Ordinance (1977) 143
Document 91 Gay Men Harm Society (1978) 144
Document 92 Mormon Suppression of Homosexuality (1978) 145
Document 93 Harvey Milk on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (1978) 149
Document 94 Gay Is Not Good (1979) 151
Document 95 Homosexuality Is Unnatural (1979) 152
Document 96 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (1979) 153
Document 97 Asian American Lesbian Speaks at the Third World Lesbian/Gay Conference (1979) 154
Document 98 A Gay Priest Speaks Out on Fundamentalists (1980) 155
Document 99 Anita Bryant's Startling Reversal (1980) 157
Document 100 Democratic Party and Gay Rights (1980) 158
Document 101 Congressman Bauman on Opposition to Gay Rights (1980) 159
Document 102 AIDS Strikes Gay Men (1981) 161
Document 103 Jerry Falwell Fund-Raising Letter (1981) 162
Document 104 Pope John Paul II on Controlling the Body (1981) 163
Document 105 Wisconsin Antidiscrimination Law (1981) 163
Document 106 Violence against Lesbian (1982) 164
Document 107 Merle Woo Challenges the University of California (1982) 166
Document 108 Simultaneity of Oppression (1983) 167
Document 109 Lesbians of Color Conference (1983) 168
Document 110 Police Abuse against Gays (1983) 169
Document 111 The Death of Charlie Howard (1984) 170
Document 112 Are Gay Rights Right? (1985) 172
Document 113 Armistead Maupin's "Design for Living" (1985) 173
Document 114 AIDS and Gay Rights (1986) 175
Document 115 Bowers v. Hardwick Sodomy Law Case (1986) 177
Document 116 Catholic Condemnation of Homosexuality (1986) 180
Document 117 Homophobia in the Black Community (1986) 181
Document 118 Antigay Violence (1987) 182
Document 119 AIDS as God's Punishment (1987) 183
Pt. V Queer America: The Acceptance of Sexual and Gender Diversity in the United States, 1987-2000 187
Document 120 ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) (1987) 192
Document 121 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (1987) 194
Document 122 Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (1987) 195
Document 123 Randy Burns - Gay American Indians (1988) 196
Document 124 AIDS Should Not Prevent Sexual Pleasure (1988) 197
Document 125 National Coming Out Day (1988) 198
Document 126 Congressman William Dannemeyer Opposes Gay Rights (1989) 199
Document 127 Jewish Rabbi Acceptance of Gay and Lesbian Rights (1989) 201
Document 128 Queer Nation (1990) 202
Document 129 Bisexuals and Gay Rights (1991) 203
Document 130 Gays in the Republican Party (1991) 204
Document 131 Democratic Party Progay Rights (1992) 205
Document 132 Kentucky v. Wasson (1992) 206
Document 133 Colorado Amendment 2 (1992) 207
Document 134 Oregon Measure 9 (1992) 208
Document 135 Lesbian Appointed to Federal Government (1993) 210
Document 136 Lesbians and Gay Men in the Military (1993) 213
Document 137 Military Working Group on Homosexuality (1993) 214
Document 138 Barry Goldwater on Gays in the Military (1993) 215
Document 139 Hawai'i Same-Sex Marriage Court Case (1993) 216
Document 140 March on Washington (1993) 221
Document 141 Deaf, Black, and Gay: Comparative Rights (1993) 223
Document 142 Impact of Gays on the Media (1994) 224
Document 143 PFLAG Supports Gay and Lesbian Children (1994) 226
Document 144 Catholic Condemnation of Homosexuality (1994) 227
Document 145 Ex-Gays Condemn Gay Rights (1994) 228
Document 146 Bisexual Young Woman Speaks Out (1994) 229
Document 147 Sharon Bottoms Child Custody Court Case (1994) 230
Document 148 Japanese American Citizens League Supports Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage (1994) 232
Document 149 Lesbianas Unidas (1994) 234
Document 150 Exposing the Religious Rights (1995) 235
Document 151 The Lesbian Avengers (1995) 237
Document 152 Brandon Teena Murder Trial (1996) 239
Document 153 Romer v. Evans (1996) 240
Document 154 Defense of Marriage Act (1996) 241
Document 155 Galluccio-Holden Adoption Lawsuit (1997) 244
Document 156 Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (1997) 245
Document 157 Internet Publication for Gay and Lesbian Rights (1997) 247
Document 158 Intersex Society of North America (1997) 248
Document 159 Transgender Liberation (1998) 249
Document 160 Southern Baptist Convention Condemns Homosexuality (1998) 250
Document 161 Focus on the Family (1998) 252
Document 162 Hawai'i Voters Reject Same-Sex Marriage (1998) 253
Document 163 Mrs. Shepard Speaks in Support of Hate Crimes Laws (1998) 259
Document 164 Hate Crimes Laws Won't Stop Hate (1998) 259
Document 165 Coming Out (1998) 260
Document 166 Cyberactivism (1999) 262
Document 167 Stan Baker v. State of Vermont (1999) 264
Document 168 Overturning State Sodomy Laws (1999) 267
Document 169 Dale v. Boy Scouts of America (1999) 269
Document 170 Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) 271
Document 171 Transgender Rights and the ACLU (2000) 276
Document 172 Laura Schlessinger Radio Show (2000) 276
Document 173 Suicide of a Gay Mormon (2000) 279
Document 174 Antigay Hate Crimes in High Schools (2000) 280
Document 175 Millennium March on Washington (2000) 282
Conclusion 285
Glossary 289
List of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Organizations 291
Selected Bibliography 295
Index 301
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Gay Americans should give themselves and their country more credit

    If it weren't for the American concept of individualism, gay Americans would never have been the first to triggle the shot heard around the gay world: the Stonewall Inn rebellion of 1969. While European elitists were still 'thinking' about gay rights among their intellectual circles, Americans, as usual, actually got off their butts and did something about it. Today, the gay pride celebrations across the globe commemorate the Stonewall Inn rebellion. Because of the courageous efforst of gay Americans, gay people all over the world have more freedom. A gay American designed the rainbow flag, a symbol used throughout the gay world; a gay American started the Gay Games, a prestigious sporting event literally fought after by cities in nearly every country to host; the first gay bars were American, and today gay bars around the world fashion themselves on the original American models. Gay people in the United States should have more respect for themselves AND their country that allowed for the creation of the world's largest gay infrastructure. Something like that doesn't happen by mere chance.

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