Lauren Coursey Gay Marriage Senior Project Period 5
1. What ARE gay rights? • Going from the typical dictionary definition, gay rights are the legal rights given to any party of homosexual orientation. • However, if we dig deeper than just the dictionary terms and actually look at this on a more free lanced scale, we’ll get answers such as gay rights are the things gays and lesbians are socially allowed to do and/or have.
2. Should Congress have the power to decide who can and can’t marry and why? • “No because you love who you love, male or female,” said Janique Beaufort of Overbrook High School. • Josh Hilton of Mastery Charter High School said “No, I do not think they should have any say in who I marry. The fact that they have the audacity to try and stop me from marrying who I want is completely wrong.”
3. How long have people been fighting for gay rights/ marriage? • The fight for gay rights and marriage, specifically gay marriage and its acceptance throughout the nation, has been taking place for too long—longer than anyone has been aware. • Larger fights and movements have, since the beginning, stood in the way and only until recently has the issue of gay rights/marriage been a very quieted one, kept behind closed doors for a long time.
4. Which states have legalized gay marriage? • Gay marriage, up until May 17, 2004, was simply put, illegal. • Same-sex couples were shunned almost everywhere. • Massachusetts was the first state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage. Four years later in 2008, same-sex marriage was legalized in California as well as Connecticut and since then, the fight has continued to legalize same-sex marriage all across the nation.
5. What do some people oppose gay marriage? • The most common reasoning is either religious or religiously related. • In the Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts Jr. argued this in a column, seeing how people use the Bible for a crutch. • “It just feels wrong to you, doesn’t it?” said Pitts. “At some visceral level, it just seems to offend something fundamental…”
6. Where does President Obama stand in terms of gay rights/marriage? • He banned orientation-based discrimination with his legislation sponsored in Illinois. • Recently, he has been working with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili, as well as other experts from the military to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the army. • President Obama has mixed feelings about gay rights and marriages.
7. Are there any organizations and/or events that youth can join to help with the fight for gay rights/marriage? • Yes, there are many organizations that youth can join in order to assist in the fight for gay rights and marriage. • You have centers such as the Attic Youth Center (located on 255 South 16th Street), the William Way Center (located on 1315 Spruce Street).
8. What is the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), their goal and some of the things they participate in? • The Gay Straight Alliance, commonly known as the GSA, is an organization with the intent of creating a “safe and supportive” environment and atmosphere for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT), as well as for their allies. • Their goal is to make the schools safe and supportive for people without any regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
9. What steps must be taken to fight for gay rights and can anyone join? • You can do anything from starting a GSA at your school to writing a letter to the mayor (or if you want to get higher, the president!). • You can join in the many rallies taking place all over the world, protesting against the immoral laws against gay rights and/or marriage.
10. Who are some celebrities fighting for gay rights/marriage? • There are many celebrities who fight for gay rights and gay marriage. • There are some like Drew Barrymore who said “everything that I am is because of these people and you can not put a barricade in their way…” • Singers Miley Cyrus, Adam Lambert, Pete Wentz, and Pink, actor Brad Pitt and actress Hilary Duff also fight for gay rights.
Bibliography • Tearful Barrymore Fights for Gay Rights. Youtube.com, 2009. • "Who Are Some Celebrities Who Support Gay Rights?" Yahoo.com. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100326085836AABX6x5>. • Johnson, Fiona. “The fight for Gay Marriage And Why the Laws Against It Should Be Abolished? Associated Content. Yahoo, 21 Feb. 2007 Web. 13 Nov. 2010 <http.www.associatedcontent.com/article/149205/the_fight_for_gay_marriage.html>
Bibliography (con’t) • “The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline.” Infoplease.com. 2009. Web. 25 Jan. 2011. http://ww.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html • “Timeline of LGBT History.” Wikipedia.com 25 Jan. 2011. Web. 25 Jan. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki?Timeline_of_LGBT_history>. • "Gay-straight Alliance." Wikipedia.com. Dec. 2009. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay-straight_alliance>.
Bibliography (con’tpt.2) • Beaufort, Janique. Personal interview. 17 Feb. 2011. • Hilton, Josh. Telephone interview. 17 Feb. 2011. • Belge, Kathy. "Barack Obama President of the United States." About.com. Web. 11 Feb. 2011. <http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/lesbianactivism/p/BarackObama.htm>. • The William Way Community Center. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://www.waygay.org/>. • Philly Pride Presents. Web. 17 Feb. 2011. <http://www.phillypride.org/>.