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Is Gay The New Black? Essay

1885 words - 8 pages

Is Gay The New Black?The Civil Rights Movement in the United Sates, which took place starting in the mid 1950s and continued on into the early 1980s, is widely resounded as one of, if not, the most pivotal movement towards seeking equality for a minority group against a majority group in this country's history. In textbooks, literature, and films alike, the African American struggle to be viewed simply as "human" though the eyes of their white counterparts is portrayed through images of horrible explicit inequality, police brutality, and obvious obstructions of the United States constitution, which guarantees equal protection of all American citizens under the law.But, we have progressed since the 1980s, and while inequality still exists in some formats, the Civil Rights Movement was undoubtedly successful for blacks in the United States. However, as the cliché "history often repeats itself" states, a new fight for equality and humanization by a minority group has emerged-and this struggle is known today as The Gay Rights Movement.Similarly to the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay Rights Movement is currently striving for equal protection under the law, and fair treatment within various institutions such as the institution of marriage, or within the work place. The striking similarities between the two movements have caused some to draw parallels, even going as far to claim that "gay is the new black," however, it has also caused some to throw their hands up in opposition, claiming that the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement are incomparable. Upon analysis of the two movements, however, it becomes ever apparent that despite the explicit differences (the idea of race vs. sexuality or gender equality) the Gay Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement are actually one in the same.Most basically, Civil Rights are defined by as "a class of rights that protect individual's freedoms, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group," they are further defined within the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2nd. This document ensures the physical integrity and safety of American citizens as well as the protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical/mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, etc (Civil Rights Act, 1964).Utilizing the afore-explained definitions regarding what encompasses Civil Rights, it seems simplistic and ever apparent that both black rights and gay rights fall under a sub-section of an over-arching theme or umbrella of Civil Rights as both movements strove/are striving to protect their minority groups from the majority opinion which views them as inhumane, deviant, and unequal. That dictionary definition, as well as the excerpt from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both clearly display the parallelism between the two movements on a most basic level, however, this issue far surpasses a dictionary definition in...

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