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Gay And Lesbian Rights Essay

2036 words - 9 pages

Gay and Lesbian RightsWith all the terrible violations of human rights in the world today, from religious persecution to genocide, should we put the fight for equal rights for homosexuals on the "back burner," as it was, until the rest of the world's problems have been solved? It is true that there are many appalling things that happen on a daily basis around the world. There will always be problems that are bigger than the rights of homosexuals. When one says that "we" shouldn't devote out efforts to promoting the right of lesbians and gay men, since there are more important and urgent human right issues that deserve our attention, to whom is this "we" referring? If one is referring to ...view middle of the document...

For example, it would seem strange to find a Vietnamese author discussing Israeli-Palestinian relations. Attachment to a certain cause adds commitment. However, this is not a rule by any means, and there are many exceptions. For example, people support cancer research even though it may not affect them directly or indirectly.In fact, all people usually take some interest in human rights issues that don't affect them at all-just as a matter of being "current". Journalists only write article that will garner public interest. They want their articles to be read. The article, "Same-sex ruling to rewrite many laws" by Tonda MacCharles and Tracey Tyler of the Toronto Star proves that there is general public interest in gay and lesbian issues.But are the violations gay and lesbian rights any less important than the violations of other human rights? The discrimination of people because of their sexual orientation is just like any other discrimination. In the semi-autobiographical The End of Gay, by Bert Archer, a description is given of the discrimination against homosexuals on the University of Toronto campus in the early 1990's:It was also a place of playful racism and quick and fierce homophobia, reactionary and brutal. "Just line 'em up and shoot 'em, man" was a line I heard more than once from an otherwise friendly face across a plate of pork chops. "Fags'rse f**kin' gross.This situation of prejudice and discrimination is not different from any other type of prejudice or discrimination.Surely we cannot dismiss the homosexual cause when gay men and lesbians are persecuted like any other minority. In a chapter entitled "Courage on Campus," Brian McNaught describes the discrimination he faced when attending university only a few decades ago:The big, black, bold lettering on the hand-printed poster declared: HETEROSEXUALS FIGHT BACK!! Copies were hung on the billboards, trees and telephone poles throughout the sprawling university campus."Protest Friday's 'Hug a Homosexual' Booth," it summoned. "Join us in a march...to the Student Union. Once there we will hang a dummy representing the Gay/Lesbian movement. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!!"With such strong force opposing the rights and freedoms of homosexual individuals, society is forced to except the violation of these rights as important a cause as any other.Such terrible persecution is an affront to all homosexuals alike. Gay men and lesbians must come together to fight for their rights as a direct response to the way that they have been "lumped together" as one to be discriminated against. Generalizations and "mass-sentencing" has been, and sometimes still is standard in many countries. Organizations that are anti-gay have demonstrated at the funerals of homosexual individuals with placards that read, "Gays deserve to die," or "Fag-free America." These demonstrations are an attack on all homosexuals from all over the world. Therefore homosexuals must take the same stance and fight back for their rights in...

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