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Gay and lesbian rights - An upstream battle.

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Gay And Lesbian Rights: An Upstream Battle Jared Berney (329338) Teachers Assistant: Simaq When I read the statement that said "we shouldn't devote our efforts to promoting the rights of lesbians and gay men, since there are more important and urgent human rights issues that deserve our attention...." I was taken aback. As it stands now, nothing seems more important than bringing both equality, and general acceptance, to gay and lesbian people. Although their have been many mistakes made in the past regarding such human rights issues as slavery, race and gender rights, gay and lesbian rights should be pushed to the top of our list of priorities in that gays and lesbians are the people who appear to be facing the most discrimination and lack of ethical treatment in today's society; nothing deserves our attention more than what appears to be the biggest form of prejudice currently plaguing our culture - intolerance of those living a homosexual lifestyle, also known as homophobia. Throughout the course of this essay, the topic of homophobia will be addressed, but more importantly, how it affects those it puts down, as well as a recent example of homophobia and another example of the continuing efforts to promote gay and lesbian rights. "Homophobia - the irrational fear or hatred of those who love and sexually desire those of the same sex...."? ...read more.


MacKinnon also noted that the student "... is a Roman Catholic Canadian trying to be himself.... He is gay..." and that this should have no effect on how he lives his daily life and what he should be allowed to do and not do.? In what ought to have been celebrated as an important movement in homosexual rights, the decision was greeted with skepticism from both fellow students ("I hope he won't rub it in everyone's faces...."?) and outside groups (the Canada Family Action Coalition, who claimed to be "... deeply disturbed by the subversion of justice and the violation of the Charters rights...."?). If anything, these responses prove how much more we, as a society, still have to learn in respect to acceptance and tolerance. There is still not enough unity amongst our individual communities in order for us to achieve a strong, understanding culture in which all people live together in harmony despite their differences. All its takes is an open mind and the ability to recognize lifestyles unlike your own in a civil manner for us to avoid such injustices and, as a result, achieve satisfaction amongst everyone. However, on a more positive note, essential steps have been taken lately in an effort to promote gay and lesbian rights. ...read more.


However, it is realizable that the issue could be, as it is now, slowly built into the main stream way of thinking even more so than it already is. As this essay has explained, these issues are playing a major role in today society and if only everyone would see homosexual men and women as equals and learn to accept them, these issues could be avoided. Lesbian and gay men issues are important in that they are both representing a level of freedom, as well as portraying an important message on acceptance. It was written that "... homosexuality is simply a matter of sexual identity, which, along with heterosexual identity, is formed in ways that no one conclusively understands"?; it so important that homosexual rights be brought to the forefront of human rights issues in that the people being disregarded as irregular aren't even doing anything different than anyone else. Its not an issue of treating people differently based on what they are doing, it's an matter of not being condemned for simply wishing to be who they truly are without living in that world of fear homophobia is causing them to sit in. Endnotes ? "Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism" by Suzanne Pharr, pgs. 1-26 in Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism 2 "Gay Couple Can Go To Prom, Judge Rules" by Amy Carmichael, pgs 1-3 in The Star 3 "Same-Sex Ruling To Rewrite Many Laws" by Tonda MacCharles and Tracey Tyler, pgs. 1-3 in The Toronto Star 2 ...read more.

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