The Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination of an individual on the basis of their race, sex, religion, or national origin fails to provide federal protection to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. The fact that this landmark federal policy does not include civil rights protection for homosexuals has put them at a disadvantage legally and socially. Although social attitudes towards homosexuality are slowly progressing, erroneous myths and bias attitudes within the legal system continue to persist. Since homosexuals are not legally protected, these myths within the judicial system are allowed to flourish. Judges' biases and prejudicial viewpoints contribute to the outcome of legal decisions. Legal and economical privileges guaranteed to traditional heterosexual families are eliminated because of the denial of legal protection. Some of these privileges that are granted to heterosexual families, but not to same sex couples include: income tax benefits, life insurance, property benefits, and rights of inheritance. Due to the lack of federal support, the contemporary gay rights movement has taken a more proactive approach to abolish social, political, and economical discrimination. The purpose of the gay rights movement is to enlighten and inform citizens of alternative lifestyles with the intention of abolishing myths and ill-founded beliefs about gays (Cabaj 1998).
As History has proven itself, minority groups have bore the brunt of discrimination and social exclusion from mainstream society. The people of Jewish, African American, Hispanic, and Asian descent have all been persecuted and discriminated for years because of their physical, social, and cult...
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