'When the dust settles and the pages of history are written,
it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have
made the difference, that reward will go to those who dared
to step outside the safety of their privacy in order
to expose and rout the prevailing prejudice.'
- John Shelby Spong
Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Newark, NJ
During World War II and especially the twenty years after brought great political and social changes to the U.S.. Undoubtedly, one of the major changes was the new awareness of homosexuality. If this new awareness was to the advantage or if it was really wanted by the gay and lesbian population is a question that arises; if they really had a choice in the matter is another.
I think gays= relentless struggle for acceptance into mainstream society came from the American constitution itself. After all, the gay liberation movement started in America, the land of the free, where all men are created equal and with an inalienable right to pursue their own happiness.
No one should be able to take these rights away from anyone. Also, in the 1950s, the civil rights movement became active and words like desegregation and equal rights for all became synonymous with the American way of life. Stand up and fight against those who have done you wrong! This is what gave homosexuals such a conviction to start fighting for their own cause.
This paper will follow the progress of gay and lesbians in the twentieth century before, during and after World War II. What was their position in the armed forces during the war and what was government and military policy during and after the war on gays in the army and in government positions? How did gay and lesbians respond...