Includes bibliographical references (pages 403-426) and index.
"Since the debacle to lift the ban on gays in the military, the emergence of gay conservatives, and the onslaught of antigay initiatives across America, the gay and lesbian community has been asking itself tough questions: Where should the movement go? What do we want? How should we accomplish our goals? In Virtual Equality, veteran activist Urvashi Vaid answers these questions with a unique combination of visionary politics and hard-earned pragmatism." "Tracing the political and cultural developments since Stonewall, Vaid shows that despite significant gains in visibility, most gays and lesbians remain demoralized and persecuted, second-class citizens in their own country. Vaid defines the status of gay America as one of "virtual equality," a state of conditional equality based more on the appearance of acceptance by straight America, rather than on actual civil equality." "In order to move beyond the current stalemate, Vaid challenges the gay community to wake up and face the forces that divide it and to consider what gays and lesbians stand for, as individuals and as a people." "Guided by a moral vision yet grounded by realpolitik, Virtual Equality is a call to arms to the gay and lesbian community to begin the work necessary to achieve genuine equality with the rest of America."--Jacket.
Defining the issues : the power of language -- Who are the gays? The image and the reality -- What are gay rights? The legal implications of gay rights ordinances -- Gay rights and religion -- The myth of the victimless crime : the social side of homosexuality and laws prohibiting sodomy -- Conclusion.
1. Basic documents -- 2. The regulation of lesbian and gay sexuality -- 3. The regulation of lesbian and gay identity: coming out, speaking out, joining in -- 4. Lesbians and gay men in the workplace -- 5. Legal recognition of lesbian and gay relationships -- 6. Lesbian and gay parenting.
"As lesbians and gay men have intensified their fight for equal rights and recognition in American society over the past several decades, issues involving sexual orientation have been hotly contested in social, religious, ethical, legal, and political contexts. The law has proved a primary battleground, for it is the law that establishes the contours of sexuality itself and mediates social questions such as how "open" lesbians and gay men can be about their sexuality, where and under what conditions gay people can work, whether they can marry or adopt children, and so on." "In a fresh attempt to focus attention on this rapidly evolving field, William B. Rubenstein, the director of the ACLU's national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, designed for Harvard Law School one of the first courses in the United States to examine both the history of the legal treatment of lesbians and gay men and the many current arenas in which related debates are raging. Rubenstein's anthology, Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Law is the first published casebook in this field." "Rubenstein places reported cases and other legal readings in a historical framework and complements the legal texts with selections ranging from fiction and poetry to psychology, sociology, theology, oral history, and journalism. Organized according to the life experience of lesbians and gay men, the book includes chapters entitled, "What we talk about when we talk about sexual orientation," "Having sex/making love," "Coming out/speaking out/joining in," "Working," "Coupling," and "Parenting."" "The result is a pathbreaking documentary reader and an essential sourcebook for anyone interested in gay and lesbian issues."--Jacket.
Introduction: damaged goods or recruitable innocents? -- The boys of Portland: a tale of three cities (and one more) -- High school confidential: double trouble times four -- A lesbian at a women's college -- Of bars, sodomy, and demon doctors: just another day in Cajun country -- Queer high and the house of bazaar -- Fear, fame, and fulfillment: from the talk shows to the pulpit -- Postscript: the nature of difference.
As our country struggles to accept its gay and lesbian citizens, the debate for gay civil rights often focuses on the issue of choice, with the majority of Americans believing that to be gay is a choice, one that's embraced for its lifestyle. This belief ignores the presence and experience of one segment of the gay and lesbian population: its youth. In Joining The Tribe, journalist Linnea Due travels America to create a portrait of gay and lesbian teenagers as an endangered and vulnerable community whose diversity, courage, and resiliency will inspire gay and straight readers alike.
Differences in brain structure may cause homosexuality / Marcia Barinaga -- The link between brain structure and homosexuality remains unproven / Barbara Grizzuti Harrison -- Poor parent-child relationships cause homosexuality / Roy Masters -- Parent-child relationships do not affect homosexuality / Carolyn Welch Griffin, Marian J. Wirth & Arthur G. Wirth -- The causes of homosexuality are uncertain / Deborah A. Miller & Alex Waigandt -- The causes of homosexuality are unimportant / Patricia Hersch -- Society should accept homosexuality / Jeff Peters -- Society does not need to accept homosexuality / Carl F. Horowitz -- Homosexuals need civil rights protection / Matthew A. Coles -- Homosexuals do not need civil rights protection / Roger J. Magnuson -- The military should accept homosexuals / Eric Konigsberg -- The military should not accept homosexuals / David Hackworth -- School programs should stress acceptance of homosexuality / Bruce Mirken -- School programs should not stress acceptance of homosexuality / Patricia Smith -- Psychotherapy can change sexual orientation / Joseph Nicolosi -- Psychotherapy should help gay men accept their homosexuality / Richard A. Isay -- Christianity can help gays change their sexual orientation / Colin Cook -- Gay Christians should accept their homosexuality / Chris Glaser -- Society should sanction gay partnerships / Thomas B. Stoddard & Patricia Horn -- Society should not sanction gay partnerships / Bruce Fein & Dinesh D'Souza -- Legalizing gay marriage would help homosexuals / Craig R. Dean -- Marriage is not a path to liberation / Paula L. Ettelbrick -- Homosexuals should have greater parental rights / Scott Harris -- Homosexuals should not have greater parental rights / Human Events.
Presents opposing viewpoints on such aspects of homosexuality as what causes it, how society should treat homosexuals, and whether sexual orientation can be changed.