LGBT and the Religious Right: Opposing Movements, Similar Methods

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The Stonewall Riots in 1969 leading to the first Gay Pride Parade in 1970 started a public discourse on LGBT rights (The Stonewall Riots). In the years to follow, two opposing mass movements manifested: the LGBT movement and the Religious Right movement. The LGBT movement aimed to get equal rights for homosexuals. The Religious Right focused on stopping the perceived moral decay of America and protecting children from lesbians and gays. While these movements had polar opposite goals, they used surprisingly similar methods to get their messages across.
Both the LGBT movement and the Religious Right movement attempted to make their mark by having someone run for public office. These politicians were in the perfect place to mobilize and convince the public of their goals. Politicians like Harvey Milk, who ran for the city board of supervisors, for the LGBT side made sure that everyone heard the minority view and served mainly to educate.
Harvey was a wholesome, relatable man with a strong Navy background. When asked about being the gay candidate, he made sure that everyone knew that he was "for the sensibilities of all people" (The Times of Harvey Milk). He was a down to earth small business owner, running a small camera shop. This background in photography helped him because he knew the value of a picture moment. He made sure to surround himself with many different minority groups in order to be portrayed in pictures as a down to earth, involved candidate. Also, he was a master of getting into the press. When supporting a bill to force people to clean up after their dogs, he planted a pile of dog poop and stepped in it on camera.
The Religious Right was also very good at getting into the press. They...

... middle of paper ... from the organizational strategies of the Religious Right. As far as the content of their messages goes, both the Religious Right and the LGBT movement had an element of protecting children. The Religious Right focused on protecting children from homosexuals, and the LGBT movement said that homosexuals are children too and need protection.

Works Cited
Fetner, Tina. How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2008. Print.
Rimmerman, Craig A. The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? Boulder, CO: Westview, 2008. Print.
The Stonewall Uprising. Dir. Kate Davis and David Heilbroner. 2011. PBS. PBS. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.
The Times of Harvey Milk. Dir. Robert Epstein. Perf. Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Anne Kronenberg. Cinecom, 1984.
United in Anger: A History of ACT UP. Dir. Jim Hubbard. 2012. DVD.
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