eyes with LGBT color

Misery to Might – Evolution of LGBT Rights

As much as the Jews were hated by the Nazis and as much as the Orientals were looked down upon by the westerners, the LGBT community were detested in a similar fashion and this time not by a particular faction or a group but by majority of the global society.

LGBT is abbreviated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. This initialism indicates the diversity in sexual orientation and gender-identity based cultures. The term LGBT is to be understood as anyone non-heterosexuals and non-cisgenders and is not just limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

A more appropriate term is LGBTQ where Q stands for ‘questioning the sexual identity’ as this is much more inclusive than just LGBT.

The Stubborn Society

When we think of who teaches us what is moral and immoral it is almost always the religious texts. The society has been for a long time fixated upon certain religious values, norms and some unnecessary taboos which serves no practical utility and have caused more pain than pleasure.

For instance, Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have traditionally forbidden sodomy, believing and teaching that such behaviour is sinful. Most of the Islamic schools disapprove of homosexuality and Hinduism takes either a neutral or an antagonistic standpoint on homosexuality.

Social Revolution


As Marx said, for every thesis there is an anti-thesis and this culminates into a synthesis. When one set of ideologies clashed with another it results in a revolution.One such clash was due to the non-acceptanceof LGBT which ultimately resulted in the Sexual Revolution during the second half of the 20th century.

The Stonewallis riots of 1969 which took place in New York City, United States resulted in a change in atmosphere. This demonstration against the anti-gay legal system set up the cornerstone for the formation of several groups such as the ‘Gay Liberation Front’ and the ‘Gay Activists Alliance’.

The Social Change

The result of the widespread activism, demonstrations and protests was liberation. More than two dozen countries now have enacted national laws allowing same-sex marriages. Most of these countries belong to Europe and the Americas.

Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage. This happened in December 2000 when the Dutch Parliament passed the bill by a 3 to 1 majority allowing the practice. This piece of legislation conferred to the same-sex couples the right to marry, divorce and adopt children. Even today, the conservative Muslims and Christian in Netherlands continue to oppose the law. But the legislation is widely accepted by the Dutch public.

The U.S. Supreme Courtin 2015recognised homosexual rights. The Court while interpreting the 14th Amendment declared that limiting marriage only to heterosexual couples violates the amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

The latest country to legalize same-sex marriage was Australia. On December 7, 2017, the Australian Parliament passed a legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally wed. Australia became the second country behind New-Zealand in the Asia-Pacific to legalize same-sex marriage.

In Search of a Happy Ending

LGBT rights by country or territory

Fifty one years after England and Wales partially decriminalized homosexuality, 72 other countries worldwide continue to criminalize same-sex marriage.

Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, homosexuality is punishable by death, under sharia law.

Russia, a country which does not have any penalising law on homosexuality cannot be completely said to be liberal. Russia has made statutes for banning the promotion of homosexuality.

The whole movement against the LGBT community consists of social taboos and the conservative attitude of the society. Though social change by way of various laws is picking up speed, the rights of the LGBT community can be completely recognised only when the whole of the society learns to embrace this beautiful change.

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Walter Coburn

Walter Coburn is strategist, author, speaker and educator. I have a Bachelor of Social Science, a Postgraduate Diploma, and a Master of Arts.

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