Homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.
2009-2010: Events illustrating a cultural
about homosexuality, bisexuality, etc.
||"The center is shifting because millions of 'Dick Cheneys,' people in the
middle who might prefer not to think about the rights of gays and lesbians, one
day see the issue indelibly stamped with the faces of their daughters, sons,
neighbors and friends." Margorie Williams, 2000-OCT-13, Washington Post.
||"[Homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that]
will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven." Jerry
||"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image, when it
turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott
"[Same-sex marriage] was mainstream to some degree, but now that they've deigned it worthy of the
[The Simpsons] show, it is interwoven into the fabric of popular culture. The Simpsons
bestows upon something a pop-culture status it never had before, simply by
virtue of being ripe for a joke." Ray Richmond 1
Since the 1950s, there has been a major cultural shift among North Americans
in their beliefs about
gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals,
intersexuals, and other sexual minorities. Increasingly, the public has
rejected traditional conservative religious teachings and accepted the findings of human
sexuality researchers and therapists. The result has been a gradual increase in
toleration and acceptance of these minorities.
There have been many developments in the struggle of gays, lesbians and
bisexuals to become accepted as people who:
||Have a sexual orientation that is unchosen, unchangeable, and is
both normal and natural for a minority of adults.
Deserve equal rights and protections from hate
crimes, job loss, refusal of accommodation, etc.
Deserve the right to marry the person that they
love and to whom they wish to make a lifetime commitment.
Attainment of civil rights, cultural shifts in favor of tolerance, and hatred
against sexual minorities are often inter-related:
||Increasing tolerance makes changes in law possible.
||When a city, state or country changes the law, tolerance increases.
||Unfortunately, hatred against sexual minorities can increase as those some
of those opposed to equality feel more threatened.
These major events range from Harvey Milk's 1977 election as a supervisor
in San Fransico CA -- the first openly gay person to hold public office in the
U.S. -- to approval of same-sex marriage across Canada in 2005-JUL and later in a
few states in the U.S.
In addition to these major events, there are also a host of minor events that
demonstrate increasing acceptance and tolerance. Most were by
literally millions of individuals who have come out of their closets to their
relatives, coworkers, and the public. They have risked verbal abuse,
discrimination, physical abuse and in one notable case -- that of Matthew Shepard in 1998 -- crucifixion.
Some events illustrating this cultural shift makeit into the news. We will attempt
to capture some of these below, starting in late 2008-DEC.
Events concerning public acceptance of sexual minorities:
||Events illustrating cultural shifts about sexual minorities:|
MAR, APR, MAY, JUN
||Gay, lesbian and bisexual milestones in the media|
We regret that it was necessary to terminate this section in mid-2010 because of lack of available staff time.
Ray Richmond, New York Times, 2005-FEB-20. He was commenting on that
evening's episode of The Simpsons in which Marge Simpson's sister
almost married another woman.
Copyright © 2008 & 2009 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2010-JUN
Author: B.A. Robinson