Gay Issues and Politics: Marriage, the Military, & Work Place Discrimination

Overview

News media, television, music, and films are filled with images of gay and lesbian people today. But how did gay people reach this point of visibility and growing acceptance? Explore the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States, from the horrifying medical treatments of the early 20th century to the 1969 Stonewall riots to the international LGBT movement for equality.

Then take a closer look at three of the most relevant issues...

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Overview

News media, television, music, and films are filled with images of gay and lesbian people today. But how did gay people reach this point of visibility and growing acceptance? Explore the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States, from the horrifying medical treatments of the early 20th century to the 1969 Stonewall riots to the international LGBT movement for equality.

Then take a closer look at three of the most relevant issues facing LGBT people today. Learn what the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy of the American military really looks like to women and men in the armed forces. Share the personal experiences of couples affected by laws banning gay marriage and people who have been victims of workplace discrimination.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Arthur Dixon
Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Lifestyle is an interesting and informative series that discusses many facets of the modern LGBT experience. The books have tremendous potential to help gay, lesbian, and transgender young adults learn about themselves. They can also educate others who may be ignorant of LGBT culture and the struggle of gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals to find acceptance in modern society. Reviewer: Arthur Dixon, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Lifestyle is a series made accessible to a young adult audience with colorful pictures and pages, an easy reading level, terms defined on each page, and a short page count. The series discusses multiple issues of particular importance in the LGBT community—from health to politics to coming out—through the personal stories of its members and the expertise of professionals from various fields. Although not intended to be a comprehensive resource, the series still manages to fill in the knowledge gaps of its readers. For example, the title Gay Issues and Politics explains the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and why the LGBT community is opposed to it. For a deeper look into the issues, each book provides resource lists at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. Intended for a young audience in the stages of emerging sexuality, this series is useful for both straight and LGBT teenagers. For straight teens, it creates a window into the LGBT experience and the challenges the community faces, and for LGBT teens, it provides answers to the kinds of questions they are asking themselves, helping them to understand themselves better and realize that they are not alone. Overall, it is a good basic resource for libraries that want to provide information about the LGBT community to young people. Reviewer: Cheryl Clark
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The subtitle states that this is part of the "Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Lifestyles" series and based on that some librarians may shy away from the title. The content is quite informative, well designed and certainly brings to the forefront issues that have tended to be kept hidden. Given the number of youths who face these issues, books like this one can be a comfort and educational. The words that may be difficult are defined on the page in boxed text and thus do not interrupt the flow. There are also insets of bonus material entitled "Extra Info" which may provide a bit more background. The book opens with a history of identity politics and the persecution of homosexuals as well as others. One interesting tidbit is the use of the word homosexual which did not really come into use until 1926 when the New York Times used the term. Another major impact was the AIDS epidemic which was originally only found in gay men and thus became linked with homosexuality. Thus it became a political and religious issue which slowed down the medical research. Gay rights have flipped back and forth with some liberal states outlawing same sex marriage. Other issues raised concern gays serving openly in the military and the absurdity of the "Don't Ask. Don't Tell. Don't Pursue, Don't Harass" policy. President Obama and many retired generals and admirals have called for its end. The final chapter discusses work place issues and discrimination. The book is filled with stories of real people and plenty of pictures and lists web sites and additional readings. It is one that should be in school and public libraries, but one can anticipate those whose religious convictions do not permit tolerance and others who are homophobic will mount campaigns to have the books removed. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
This book is part of the series "Gallup's Guide to Modern Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Lifestyle." Homosexuality, alternative sexual preferences and lifestyles are areas that certainly can benefit from accessible texts for pre-teens and teens. These topics are frequently accompanied by high levels of emotion and controversy and, therefore, demand the most accurate and authoritative treatment. Overall this series falls short on these latter requirements, relying largely on popular press and websites for sources and utilizing statements in the text without citing the relevant source(s). Citations in the bibliography often fail to provide an issue or page numbers when articles are included. Typographical errors were found in several of the series' texts. Each book opens with the identical introduction from the series editor, James Sears, former editor of the Journal of LGBT Youth. The introduction describes the tensions between societal expectations and individual rights, which largely underlie discrimination against non-dominant groups in any culture. The text of each book is organized in short chapters with terms highlighted in the text and defined in colored boxes. This volume includes chapters on the issues identified in the subtitle—same-sex marriage, military service, and workplace discrimination. Two maps are included that are intended to show the state-by-state status of laws governing same-partnerships and worldwide status of gay service in the military, but the graphics are confusing and the sources are not cited to allow further clarification/verification. Another confusing editing oversight is the discussion about the Matthew Shepard case, where the author says he was "murdered...and left on a deserted road to die." Illustrations and photos are spread throughout, short lists of additional information sources close each chapter, and a bibliography and index follow the main text of the book. The layout and production quality make these books accessible and the tenor of the messages to youth dealing with these issues is positive; however, the quality of the information suggests these be used only as ancillary information in a school or public library setting. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—While these series titles leave out a key group, bisexuals, they cover a wide range of topics. The advice is solid and can easily be found elsewhere, but the books are easy to read, up-to-date, and include personal stories that many readers will relate to. Religion discusses homosexuality in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Each book includes photographs; charts; sidebars with additional pertinent information such as definitions and anecdotes; extensive bibliographies; links to useful websites; and book suggestions. Unfortunately, some of the charts are not easy to decipher, and some of the photograph captions contradict the texts. For the most part, though, the information is clearly presented without being too dry.—Sarah K. Allen, Elko Middle School, Sandston, VA
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

1 The History of Identity Politics 9

2 Same-Sex Marriage 27

3 Gays In the Military 40

4 Workplace Issues and Discrimination 51

Bibliography 62

Index 63

About the Author And The Consultant 64

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