Politics in Minutes (2016)

Sexuality and politics

Sexuality is a profoundly political issue because it is used as a basis for discrimination. The gay rights movement emerged in the late 1960s, advocating equal rights for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons. In 1969, a defining moment occurred when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York. Nearly 400 people resisted over several nights, and the American gay rights movement was born. It subsequently spread worldwide. Gay rights activists have campaigned on many issues: anti-gay legislation, discriminatory practices in employment, housing and other aspects of civil society, bans on military service for gays, the lowering of the age of consent and same-sex civil partnerships and marriages. Since the 1980s, attitudes have changed and in the USA, Canada, Britain, Iceland and Belgium, openly gay individuals have held high political office. Since 1989, starting with Norway, many countries have legalized civil partnerships and same-sex marriages, most recently in Ireland in 2015. Virulent anti-gay laws, however, still exist in Russia, Iran and Uganda.