In the United States Congressional officials are elected by majority vote and to represent the opinions and views of the public. However, there are times when elected officials do not align their votes with the majority and support the minority instead. This has been witnessed a lot in the recent voting, in large with the issues surround gay rights and gay marriage. Numerous elected officials, typically democrats, are siding with the minority and voting for gay marriage and equality for all.
What are Gay Rights?
Gay rights have long been sought after and fought for in the United States, with roots tracing back to the Stonewall riots in New York during the summer of 1969. During these riots the police raided gay bars and were met with strong resistance, in spite of it being illegal to have same sex relationships in every state besides Illinois. During the years between 1969 and 1974 the number of gay rights organizations grew exponentially from only a handful to thousands across the country.
During the 1970’s gay rights primarily focused on equality and equal treatment for any person, regardless of sexual orientation. Today, gay rights groups are focusing on larger rights such as marriage. With the increased visibility of gay rights groups, the support of Hollywood movie stars, and professional athletes admitting they are gay, gay rights have witnessed drastic changes and come to the forefront of America’s attention.
How Politics Influence Gay Rights
In 1996 DOMA, or Defense of Marriage Act, was passed in the United States. The DOMA act was passed almost unanimously among every state and strongly opposed gay marriage. Even though the vast majority of the public was opposed to gay marriage in 1996, 14 Senators and 67 members of the House of Representatives, voted against DOMA and for gay marriage. Of these voters in support of gay marriage, notably all but one was from the Democratic Party. Also very noteworthy is the fact that the only Republican to vote against DOMA, Steve Gunderson, was found to be gay during a heated debated which transpired on the House floor.
More recently, a lot more democratically elected officials are also coming out in support of gay rights, particularly for same sex marriage. With more and more elected officials, as well as those beginning to campaign for office, supporting gay rights, it leaves a lot people scratching their heads as to why the sudden interest in gay marriage. Many will argue those seeking election or re-election, are strongly advocating for gay marriage, because the gay and lesbian community is very powerful and also has access to a lot of money – money which potentially could be used to help win political campaigns.for more information, visit the original source.
Regardless of if one is a republican, democrat, or independent voter, the topic of gay rights is not going away in American any time soon. With gay marriage now legal in 17 states and the Congressional Budget Office extending employment benefits to same sex partners, this topic is actually just heating up. While democrats may be more likely to help push gay marriage through in more states and be stronger advocates for the gay and lesbian community, electing democrats is not enough to ensure gays are treated with the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples. Ultimately, the power does still lie in the hands of the majority, and the elected officials will have to do what is best for his/her campaign and use their elected voice to speak for the public which voted them into office.http://internationalstudies.ss.uci.edu/node/25505
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