Why Gay Rights Are Civil Rights—and Simply Right

Conservatives shouldn’t dismiss comparisons between the discrimination homosexuals have faced and Jim Crow.

There are many ways to define government oppression of its citizens, and certainly many examples of it in U.S. history. And no doubt some government impositions on individual freedom have been broader than others or have had more widespread and deadlier consequences. Perhaps that was the point that James Antle intended to make in his recent article “Why Conservatives Say No” when he derided the comparison of the black civil rights struggle of the 20th century with the gay civil rights struggle of the 21st.  “For liberals, every social issue is Selma,” he wrote. “If you disagree with whatever social cause the liberal champions,” he continued, “you are the new Hitler, or at least the new Bull Connor.”
The widespread misconception today of gay people as mostly smug, well-off whites with fat bank accounts and comfortable (and, we’re told, chosen) lifestyles, however, does not negate the undeniable history of often brutal treatment of gays and lesbians and their lack of basic human rights in the eyes of government for most of this nation’s history.
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