Homosexual Legal Rights

Archive Report

Activism on Legal and Social Issues

Fast Emergence of Gay Liberation Movement

The prevailing attitude toward homosexuals in the United States traditionally has been one of revulsion and hostility. This attitude is reflected in the nation's legal codes. In 42 states private homosexual acts entered into by consenting adults are punishable by long prison sentences. The person who appears homosexual or who acknowledges his—or her—homosexuality has trouble finding a job or a place to live. He is barred by the federal government from the Civil Service and Foreign Service, and from private employment requiring a security clearance. The homosexual encounters some form of discrimination almost daily, whether with or without a legal basis.

In recent years, however, many of these laws, rules and practices have been challenged ...

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