The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
In British law, Section 28 of the Local Government Act, enforced from 1988 until 2003, prohibited the promotion of homosexuality and teaching the acceptability of homosexuality as a "pretended family relationship".
The Hijras--men who dress and act like women--have been a presence in India for generations, maintaining a third-gender role that has become institutionalized through tradition.
The dominant ideology among politicized lesbians during the 1970s and 1980s, Lesbian Feminism was based on the premise that lesbianism and feminism were inextricably linked.
Harvey Milk, among the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, was assassinated in San Francisco's City Hall, making him the American gay liberation movement's most visible martyr.
By the early twentieth-century, YMCAs had become popular havens for men who sought sex with other men.
Compulsory heterosexuality is the assumption that women and men are innately attracted to each other emotionally and sexually and that heterosexuality is universal, a view that leads to an institutional inequality of power that privileges heterosexual males and denigrates women, especially lesbians.
Sarah Schmidt, Chair of LPAC, discusses the importance of this election with other glbtq political activists.
The 2012 presidential election is a high stakes affair. Much of the progress made by the equal rights movement could be reversed if Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States.
The difference between the candidates for President could not be more stark. President Obama has been an outspoken advocate for gay rights. He has not only achieved major legislative victories that benefit glbtq people, including the passage of a hate crimes bill and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but he has used the powers of the executive office to improve the lives of sexual minorities. Not only has the President directed the Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act and the Immigration Service not to pursue the deportation of foreign-born same-sex spouses, but in his administration, regulations have been put in place that accord greater recognition to same-sex couples, protect federal workers against discrimination, and ensure that the federal government recognizes the correct gender of transgender people.
In addition, the President has endorsed marriage equality and has moved the Democratic Party to a major policy change on the issue.
In contrast, Romney has pledged to support a Federal Marriage Amendment and to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
Should Romney be elected President, he can be counted on to reward his ultra-conservative supporters by rolling back the progress made by the glbtq community. Should the Democratic Party retain control of the U.S. Senate, it is unlikely that a President Romney could enact a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but he certainly will reverse many of the executive orders issued by President Obama and the regulatory interpretations initiated by his administration that have improved the lives of glbtq people.
These orders and regulations range from student bullying regulations to interpretations of the family leave act to enforcement of immigration laws.
As Jerame Davis, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats, told Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade in June, "The bigoted wing of the GOP, which Romney has embraced with gusto, cannot stand the idea that same-sex relationships have been afforded near equal status in so many federal rules and regulations."
He added as an example, "It grates against their very being that transgender Americans can get passports with the appropriate gender marker and there are more than a few who want to see the HIV travel ban put back into place."
At a recent dot429 Straight Talk conference in New York City, veteran activist David Mixner, Pennsylvania State Representative-elect Brian Sims, LPAC Chair Sarah Schmidt, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation president Neil Giuliano discussed the high stakes of the 2012 election. The video below excerpts some moments in that discussion.