The Straight State : Homosexuality And Citizenship During Twentieth Century America Essay

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Discriminatory action against individuals who identified or were labeled as non-heterosexual began to be brought to light during the twentieth century and is still prevalent today. There are arguments by certain individuals that claim that discrimination of those who identify as non-heterosexual have disappeared. I would argue that such discrimination is still alive and present in our modern society. Very noticeable today with the values of our Vice-President Elect Mike Pence who thinks that homosexuality can be “fixed” through electric shock therapy. Values like this are similar to that held during the twentieth century - which Margot Canaday deeper examines in her book The Straight State: Homosexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America. Canaday’s argument throughout her book is that of homosexuality considered undesirable. Canaday starts off her book by delving into the stripping of citizenship rights from individuals who were labeled as homosexual. A topic Ian Haney Lopez explores in his book White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race: How individuals pertaining to a particular group of racial or ethnic groups were deprived of their citizenship and personhood rights. In this essay, I will explore the concepts introduced by Lopez of law as ideology and law as behavioral control and how those concepts relate to Canaday’s book in the oppression of non-hetersoxual individuals within the realms of immigration, the military, and welfare (Canaday). The application

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