Currently, many factors are limiting the freedoms of representatives of the LGBTQ community. However, the scale of these difficulties is incomparable to the situation more than 40 years ago, when the manifestation of homosexuality led to a 20-year sentence in all US states. The prerequisites for significant changes in the history of LGBTQ people have been individual precedents since the late 1960s. Gradually, perseverance in the struggle for freedom of choice of sexual orientation and private life led to a gradual increase in the loyalty of the judicial system. In 1969, there was an uprising at the gay bar “Stonewall Inn,” visitors against the police officers who insulted them. This event was the first mass manifestation of discontent on the part of homosexuals and “sparked the gay liberation movement.” (Farley, 2017). After that, by 1975, half of the states had abolished sodomy laws. The following case, which greatly influenced the expansion of legal freedoms of the LGBTQ community, occurred in 1975. Hardwick was arrested at his home in Atlanta by a police officer who saw him performing oral sex, which was sodomy, and violated the law. The uniqueness of this case is that the judge of the Court of Appeal supported Hardwick, explaining that the private sexual life of an adult should be protected from punishment. A good indicator that the current situation regarding the protection of the rights of the LGBTQ community remains problematic is the incident with the representative of the Boy Scout organization, who refused to be accepted into a leadership position because of his orientation (Trachtman, 2009). This criminal case went through many instances, and eventually, the organization managed to protect its rights to freedom of decision-making on membership in their association and exclude an LGBTQ representative from its ranks. Moreover, there are still relevant questions about whether same-sex marriage can be recognized in a state where its conclusion by local state bodies is not possible.
David Sedaris made a significant contribution to drawing attention to the problems of homosexuals. In his short story “Go Carolina,” he talks about his experience working with a speech therapist, who tried in every possible way to ridicule the writer’s orientation, to point out his abnormality. The speech therapist and the school teacher sought to label and shamed him: “She was probably thinking along the lines of SPEECH THERAPY LAB, though a more appropriate marker would have read FUTURE HOMOSEXUALS OF AMERICA” (Sedaris, 2001). Nevertheless, at the end of the story, the author clarifies to readers that he was wrong to condemn the sincere and disinterested intentions of the speech therapist. He urges readers not to jump to conclusions, even about those who outwardly show a negative attitude.
Jennifer Fraley. (2017). HUM 152 LGBTQ Culture [Video]. YouTube.
Sedaris, D. (2001). Me Talk Pretty One Day (Reprint ed.). Back Bay Books.
Trachtman, M. G. (2009). The Supremes’ greatest hits: the 37 Supreme Court cases that most directly affect your life (Revised, Updated ed.). Sterling.