Homosexuality is the behavior where individuals fulfill their sexual emotions and needs by interacting with other individuals of the same sex. In men, the anal passage, mouth, hand substitute the woman’s vagina, while in homosexual women, they use their tongue, fingers, or objects that function as alternatives of male penises. Through the early 20th century, homosexual relationships between males demonstrated sin against God, crimes against personality, and offences against humanity. During the early 20th century, homosexuality got the impression of being an unusual act, and it was even dreadful to write about it. This went on until the year 1965 when Everett Klippert was sentenced as a “dangerous sex offender” by the Supreme Court of Canada. He was imprisoned for approving the verity that he was gay and that he had sex with other men, preferably four at that year (McLeod 20). Everett Klippert was paroled in 1967 after an appeal in the Supreme Court. This article is meant to elaborate how homosexuality was perceived in the 20th century by the society.
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During the early 1900s, the scientific conception of homosexuality was negative. Medical practitioners, usually the psychiatrists, classified the homosexuality as a mental illness or condition. They engaged in arguments that homosexuality violated laws of nature and changed the role of men and women in reproductive pattern (McLeod 26). In that time, anyone who was found guilty of homosexual activities was either fined or imprisoned for a given term. This was extremely server during that time that investigators exposed individuals who were homosexuals and held public offices (Blackwell, Ricks, and Dziegielewski 29). This led them to losing their jobs because of the idea that homosexual might take on power and challenge the fabric of society. The discrimination led homosexuals to building gay societies and lesbian communities. In this period, grass root organizations, such as Mattachine Society, were formed to fight back on the discrimination of homosexuals in America.
During this time, there was continuing discrimination of homosexuals and, after the World War II, the soldiers who were evacuated from their duties. The military discriminated on the credentials of sexual orientation. When the homosexual soldiers were discharged of their duty and had to go back home, they were afraid of critics. The discharged soldiers opted to stay in cities like San Francisco and New York that had a large gay population, and this led to building a stable self-conception of a homosexual identity. Homosexual was viewed as the number one threat of tradition model of family (Blackwell, Ricks, and Dziegielewski 35). This fear led the US Senate to investigate and find sex perverts in the government, and in 1950, the government constructed a document that was to exclude homosexuals from positions in the federal government. The document described homosexuals as a security threat, and homosexuality was considered a criminal act.
During the emergence of the Cold War, the perception of homosexuals worsened. The state claimed that homosexuals had a weak moral fiber, and they could be used as spies by the communist interrogators. Such claims indicted homosexuality as a crime under the federal government. This fact made it stricter for the government, and it denied homosexuals any access in working for the government just because of sexual orientation. This discrimination led homosexuals to seek refuge in bars where they socialized and asserted their identity. In bars, they saw that they were far from prosecution because the mafia who owned the bars usually paid off the police (Blackwell, Ricks, and Dziegielewski 32). The bars gained a lot of fame for allowing homosexuals since heterosexual society had denied them equivalent rights to access communal facilities. However, law enforcement still was able to persecute homosexuals, administering violence and raping them as a way of intimidating them.
During 1965 in Canada, Everett Klippert was imprisoned when he admitted to be having a homosexual relationship with several men. Eventually, he was caught for interrogations of an arson case, and after interrogation, he admitted to be homosexual (McLeod 22). The court charged Klippert as a dangerous sexual offender, and he was imprisoned indefinitely. The Supreme Court of Canada went to the extent of dismissing Klippert’s appeal in 1967 and intensified the government legal ability to imprison men convicted of homosexuality. His sentence brought about a debate in Canada that enquired if it was necessary to imprison gay men. This led to Klippert being paroled and reforms that included decriminalizing homosexuality (McLeod 102). Pierre Trudeau, the then Justice Minister, stated that it was not a concern of the criminal code what adults did in private and did not affect a third party.
The intimidation went on until hope shone during the Stonewall riot, which was addressing gay liberation. This was because of homosexual expecting better social and political treatment. They did not want to continue shying away as the heterosexual wanted them to do. The Stonewall riot occurred in Stonewall Inn where the working class gay and lesbians frequented to socialize (Cater 56). In that period, police raid was brutal and ugly, and the homosexuals had seen enough thus they resisted the police raid. The riot lasted for three days. The spreading of the word about the riot through homophile organization was the beginning of gay rights practice. In 1973, the group of homosexuals forced the American Psychiatric Association to confiscate homosexuality from its record of psychological illnesses. This fact brought about the acceptance of homosexuality as a way individuals chose to lead their life and not as an illness.
When AIDS was discovered in 1980s, the medical practitioners directly linked it to homosexuals. They did not bother to inform the society that other groups of people were being affected by AIDS as well, thus it was termed as “homosexual cancer”. The Regan government overlooked the AIDS epidemic, and thus it spread uncontrollably (Cater 166). As a result of the stigma, homosexuals created a visible mass culture that helped in AIDS research. The mass action of the gay people reduced the spread of AIDS as it did during 1965 when it was fighting for equal rights in the society.
In conclusion, discrimination of homosexual is still present and will continue so long as religion and morality values of people exist. Homosexuals will go on being denied the basic freedom that heterosexuals enjoy unless the human perception changes. The rights of a person must be upgraded, and denial of these rights because of sexual orientation is a crime. The position a person holds should not be determined by sexual orientation just like some states take adultery as crime it does not lead to discrimination. A right of choice for an individual to lead his or her life should be left solely on the individual and should not be determined by other aspects of the community. States like Canada and Netherlands have been good examples by allowing same-sex marriages; this has not been seen to make the whole country homosexual or to promote homosexuality. There are still heterosexuals, and they constitute the highest percentage.
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