Reflective Essay On Civil Rights

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During our time in class, we discussed several themes pertaining to the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ community, and spoke at length about some of the landmark cases that helped to give the community the liberties that they enjoy today. In order to better understand the struggle that the community had to endure in order to achieve these rights, we will review several different cases and tie them to things we learned in class, analyzing the roles that they played in achieving progress in various fields that were once dangers for members of this group. By understanding some of the landmark legal actions that were made in the quest for equal rights, perhaps then we can more fully understand the extent of the obstacles that they have overcome. And not all of these cases go in their favor, either, showing that even at the highest echelons of the American legal system, there have been and still continue to be significant prejudices which must be faced day in and day out. The most important step forward in the timeline of LGBTQ rights was the acceptance that homosexual acts were, in fact, not crimes, and that homosexuals could live in the open without fear of repercussion from the law. In class, we discussed the case of Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws and effectively criminalized homosexual relations until the 2003 case of Lawrence v. Texas, which reversed the decision. Just two years after the decision in Lawrence v Texas came down,

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