Civil Rights in America

In civil rights classroom discussions, issues pertaining to African-American and women’s rights are examined from a historical and political perspective.  Issues related to other groups such as those who are of Hispanic or Asian origins are discussed as well.  Civil rights tends to focus on rights of individuals based on race, gender, and ethnic origin in most textbooks.  But what about gay rights and LGBT issues involving marriage, workplace discrimination, and shared health care benefits?  Do those issues and the people affected by those issues have a place in civil rights discussions?  Is there another civil rights movement taking place in the United States at this moment?


43 responses to “Civil Rights in America

  1. I believe it is a civil rights issue and it should be discussed as one. It is someone’s choice to be gay or a lesbian. If they decide to marry someone of the same sex, then they should be awarded the same benefits of a opposite sex married couple. They should not be discriminated against because of this. You are allowing the same sex couples to adopt children, then that shows to me that they can be treated with the same benefits as an opposite sex couple. And the second part of the question is this a new civil rights movement, and I would have to say yes. From everything I see at my place of work and others, they really seem to I would say bend over backwards to make sure the gay and lesbians are taken care of and nothing is handled wrong with them in reference to benefits and discrimination. I think this trend will continue for the next several years.

  2. I typed “Civil Rights Definition” into Google and the first result I got was this;
    “Civil rights – noun- the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.”
    If that doesn’t spell the answer out I don’t know what does. People, in many parts of this country, can still legally be fired for not being heterosexual. They can still be denied the financial benefits of having a legal binding to a life-long partner. Until recently they could not lay their lives down for their country without hiding who they were, as if it was something which, not only should they be ashamed of but something which produces such shame that it can not even be wiped clean by enormous sacrifice and bravery.
    The current movement for equality is undoubtedly a movement for civil rights.

  3. I believe that every human being has a right and voice in any decision that may affect their life. It is inhumane for a hierarchy to think that a group of people should be excluded from a life changing matter such as what rights they don’t and do have.
    Before the late 1960s, African Americans had to live under a system of segregation. In some areas of the country, they were legally obliged to stay away from white suburbs, white schools, white shops, white restaurants, white jobs and white seats on busses.

    After the early 1970s, blacks were (theoretically) allowed to go anywhere and do anything they wanted, even if it took them into proximity to white people. The country still has a long way to go in terms of providing REAL equality to all its citizens, but at least for now the laws can be enforced.

  4. Sammia Shehayber

    I think gay rights and LGBT issues are 100% included in civil rights. Civil rights allow everyone equality and freedom “based on race, gender, and ethnic origin” so why wouldn’t it be extended to sexual orientation? It should not make a difference whether someone is gay or straight; they should be treated fairly and entitled to civil rights. I think there is definitely another movement in civil rights taking place at the moment. People are becoming more comfortable with the topic, and we see many supporting it with the help of media through television, music, and movies.

  5. Allyson Buczyna

    Gay and LGBT rights should definitely be included in civil rights. I believe that civil rights is a term that should umbrella all people; be that man or woman, black or white, gay or straight. We have come so far in this country to make sure that everyone is equal, why stop now? Why should we limit anyone due to their sexual orientation? While it has always been a sensitive topic and the US has a ways to go, we have come very far. I see more and more celebrities and athletes coming out and being accepted. The number of television shows with couples of different sexual orientations is also multiplying. I see this as a positive upward trend that I believe will continue until we have complete equality.

  6. Honestly, I believe everywhere we go there’s someone out there who is racist. In the society we live in today, people tend to use racial profiling to judge an individual background. By doing this, I believe this leads to civil rights being violated of those who become the victims of such actions. Once someone’s civil rights are violated, that individual or group of individuals become insecure with their rights that were given to them at birth. They can no longer express their opinions or expressions in public without the idea of being judged by others. In some cases, people tend to go into extreme measurements just to have their call of help heard. This is mostly related to individuals who are gay, who know nationwide, not everyone accepts their decisions of life. In my personal opinion, people should let those who choose to be gay be themselves and should not worry about it because it does not relate to them. In regards to having a civil right movement happening in the United States, I strongly believe there is. With the information I provided above, I think that should be more than enough to support my reason to believe this. Once people stop profiling others, our society will finally be at peace, till then, we will continue to violate others civil rights and ignore the fact that we are all created equally, regardless of what others might think of you.

  7. The issues affecting the LGBT communities are absolutely civil rights issues. The prime example, is that they do not have the right to marry. Aside from that basic right, there are plenty of other discriminations such as not getting jobs or promotions, being socially unaccepted, bullied in school, or even kicked out of or not served at businesses. There are many different movements working toward the same goal of equal rights and to end discrimination against the LGBT community.

  8. I never thought about that, but I agree I think there could be another civil rights movement in the making. Issues about the LGBT are definitely civil rights. No one can make you be someone you’re not. People discriminating against the LGBT don’t realize that they are real taking their right of being who they are. Also, not permitting them marriage is taking away another right of theirs.

  9. I believe it is a civil rights issue and it should be discussed with people. It is someone’s choice to be gay or lesbian. If they decide to marry someone of the same sex, then they should have the same benefits of a opposite sex married couple. Since same sex couples are allowed to adopt children, then they can be treated with the same benefits as an opposite sex couple.

  10. Stephanie Michalak

    People of the LGBT community most definitely have a right in the discussion of civil rights. In this nation, no matter what race, religion, sexuality, or color you are, you deserve the same liberties as the guy next to you. The LGBT community has been treated unfairly, being let go from a job because they are gay, not being able to be married to their partner, abused and even sometimes murdered because of how they identify themselves. If that does not sound like the right to call for sexual freedom and civil rights then I don’t know what does.

  11. For the purposes of children of a same sex marriage, I think it is wrong. Its possible that just because you introduce your child to gay marriage, they feel as if that is the “right” way. Now im not saying that there even is a right way but if we all want to be treated fairly then we should stick by one law. This is a civil rights problem and I don’t think it will ever be solved. Getting married to the same sex is fine when you are grown and can make your own choices, I just don’t think it should affect the children in anyway shape or form.

  12. LGBT certainly has a place in the civil right discussion. They are in it, but are they really treated equally? In my opinion, I believe they are undermined and put aside when it comes to equal rights. People tend to overlook the discussion, the true meaning of equal rights. Our society will never be at ease until everyone has had a say in how our nation should be run. There is definitely an uprising towards the civil rights movement at the moment. Everyone deserves equal rights and our society will not rest until we have it.

  13. I believe that the issues and those affected by them have a place in civil right discussions. As mentioned in a comment above, civil rights are the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. With that being said, viewing the different situations in a person’s life whether it’s in a workplace or in the general public eye, one should not discriminate against another individual’s preference. Benefits should be the same for any human being and should not be dispersed any differently just because of a person’s sexual preference.

  14. I definitely believe that there are civil right issues when it comes to gay rights and LGBT issues. In my opinion if a same sex couple can adopt children then they should have the right to marry. You can not tell someone who and what they are and what they should believe in. I also think that there needs to be changes to gay and lesbian rights when it comes to workplace and financial issues. Though, I am seeing more and more positives, you hear about people coming out more comfortably like athletes and public figures. Also, inappropriate words that were used in association with gays are getting highly frowned upon in the public eye and socially. I believe that there is currently and a future civil rights movement ahead of us. Everyone should be treated equally no matter race, ethnicity, or gender.

  15. Brittany McLaughlin

    Yes and yes. There is a large civil right movement happening right at this moment. The original civil rights movement isn’t ended yet either. I believe anyone has a place to fight for equality. Gender, Race, or Sexuality should not matter. I don’t believe I will ever see that day where it doesn’t, but I hope eventually that day comes.

  16. There is definetly a civil rights movement going on in todays times. We as people are not getting equal rights in everything we do from law enforcement to our regular lives in our neighborhoods. It’s a result of peoples ignorance and they how they tie certain events to groups of people. Media nly feeds these problems because they exploit and blow these situations out of proportion to get ratings which also turn people against each other.

  17. Kristen Colbert

    I completely thinking that gay rights have a huge place in civil rights because they’re being discriminated against by certain people. There is another civil rights movement taking place because they’re not being treated as equally as they should be. Every person has there rights and it’s not fair that if a person happens to fall in love with another person of the same sex that they’re discriminated against.

  18. I believe everyone no matter their race, gender, ethnic origin, and also sexual orientation should be treated equal. Our country will digress as it did during the civil rights movement if we continue be ignorant toward gays and lesbians. I feel people in our country need to be sensitive, thoughtful, and progressive. I do feel gays and lesbians are discriminated against, and they have become the new leaders in the civil rights movement. There is a movie that Adam Sandler made(Chuck and Larry). This movie brought up some great points about same sex marriage, and I recommend people check it out. The movie kind of sugar coats things because of the humor in it, but the main point of the movie gets the message across.

  19. I believe the gay rights and LGBT issues involving marriage, workplace discrimination, and shared health care benefits should be a civil rights movement in todays day, and are included. Just because a person is gay or a different color does not mean they should be mistreated. I believe if someone is apart of the gay marriage, then they should have equal rights as any other person getting married in this country. I think there are many issues involving equal rights with the gay community, and the government that they are trying to figure out today.

  20. The issues pertaining LGBT and gay rights without a doubt have a place in civil rights discussions. As a country we have made changes for the better, but we still have a long ways to go. As people of the United States, we need to focus on the issues that aren’t just in our text books or on the posters in our classrooms, but what is going on in the world around us. We were all born equal under one nation with social freedom. And that is just what civil rights are. With that being said, same sex marriage should never be discriminated.

  21. The problem with our culture is we tend to put feelings before reason.The situations are quite different, and it is natural law that reveals the difference to us. Natural law is a sense of good and evil that is written on the heart of every person. It tells us which acts are good and rational and which are evil and irrational. Natural law tells us that not every kind of behavior is a right. The act of murder is not a right, nor is incest. These go against human nature. We inherently know that these are wrong. Something is out of sync…

  22. Nathalie Hernandez

    I strongly believe that gay rights and LGBT issues should be included in the civil rights. As citizens, we are all given the right or are privileged to social freedom and equality. Everyone is capable of making their own decisions in life and that is something as a society that people need to understand and not judge, but apparently that will never happen. If someone decides to be gay, lesbian,or marred to someone of their own sex than so be it. They deserve to be treated fairly and should be entitled to civil rights as well. Yes, I feel that there is another movement in civil rights taking place right now, because this topic had been supported by many individuals and has become more common.

  23. I was not going to make a comment on this one as it’s a ‘hot button’ issue. I will simply say, ALL men (meaning women too) are created equal and are endowed by the Creator to certain inalienable rights. I looked up the word inalienable and saw that it refers to that which cannot be given away or taken away. Having said that I believe the same, that ALL should be given civil rights – no matter their choice. Now, whether or not I agree with that choice is another matter, but my opinion on that front is not in question.


  24. Hiu Yan Ip (Iris)

    I believe everyone can enjoy the civil rights. Because sexual orientation is inborn, no one can choose theirs. Everyone should not be discriminated. If sexuality can be affected the place of civil rights, one day, the religion, race, or even gender will be affected as well. Therefore, homosexual cannot be discriminated in any place, including marriage, working, and the benefits of health. I think the civil rights are becoming equality for everyone.

  25. Overall, I believe women’s rights have improved greatly in the realm of civil rights. Women have came a long way from the times of suffrage efforts decades ago. In my eyes, women should have absolutely the same contribution to the economy as men and strive to work mutually with men in the workplace. I would love to see a female president for the United States because she would have all types of influences that congregate her decisions. The nation would have to respect and appreciate her work. I can definitely see this happening.

  26. Civil rights is on display every day. We have a black man leading our nation, and we have black leaders all throughout the world. Overall civil rights is alive strong and well

  27. I think Gay and LGBT issues are very much discussed but to a certain limit. There are many people who are against and also many who don’t really care for it. I don’t think they should be discriminated because of their sex preference. Many places I go they have gay people working I feel like many jobs are opening up and hiring these people. The civil rights movement I think it has been taken place for a while now.

  28. LBGT should include all aspects in discussions. Workplace discrimination does exist, people are at odds about LGBT marriage, and shared health benefits. In all honesty, I don’t see the logic as to why people care so much about LGBT personal life & personal shared health benefits. There is absolutely nothing wrong with LGBT and discrimination is completely unnecessary. These issues are daily struggles for the average LGBT even though it should be illegal to discriminate based on the premise of sexual orientation.

  29. I strongly believe that gay rights and LGBT issues should be included in the civil rights discussions. I think every human being should have the same rights, It doesn’t matter what your sexual preferences are, we are all equal. A person shouldn’t be judged on what he/she decides to do with their personal life.

  30. I believe that all of the above relate to civil rights discussions and that we are having a civil rights movement in today’s age. The fight against discrimination in the workplace and against gays is an every day struggle for those who have issues with it. All of these issues are very wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated. In today’s era these things should be widely accepted.

  31. I do believe that gay rights have a place in civil right. Like I said during the podcast, everyone should b able to b happy. It should be the persons choice on who they marry and no one should ever tell them that they can’t marry that person. This will never stop being an issue .

  32. I think in any group of people has a place in civil rights discussion. As diverse as the United States is, there is going to be discrimination happening on all levels. No matter what discrimination will take place and it needs to be addressed. It seems like people need constant reminders that no matter what race, ethnicity, age, or gender someone is, they are not greater or lesser because of it. This is true of lifestyle and sexual orientation choices. I believe that people who fall under the LGBT category should have the same rights as every American citizen. I do not however agree with churches being prosecuted for not allowing gay marriage to take place in their church. There should be a separation of church and state. The freedom of religion is to ensure a religion can be practiced as it is intended. If the government forces churches to provide gay marriages ceremonies within the church and this goes against the church’s belief, than I believe that is wrong. It would then be causing another group of people to lose their freedom. I am getting away from the question though, I do believe civil rights is necessary to ensure these people the same rights as American citizens. They should be allowed to be granted marriage and the benefits that come along with a legal marriage of a man and woman. I think currently there is a civil rights movement taking place in America currently regarding these individuals, however I do not think it is on the same level as previous movements such as with African Americans and women.

  33. Teresa Hamilton

    Everyone should have the right to vote no matter who or what you stand for. Gay marriage doesn’t make you who you are political wise being gay is just a characteristic like being tall, fat, or mean. I know a lot of gay people that get along better than straight people so when voting gay people might make better decisions ( just a thought). All in all i believe everyone has a voice that needs to be heard, so nothing else should define you or keep you from your civil rights.

  34. Gay rights and LGBT rights have come a long way in fighting for equality in the United States. In terms of employment, health care, and workplace discrimination, I think they definitely deserve equality. However, there are many people that have issues accepting the term ‘gay marriage’ simply because it’s a paradox in a way. Many people define marriage as the bond between a man and a woman. Therefore, there is absolutely no way two people of the same sex could possibly be married. That belief is concrete in the minds of a lot of people, and most of them are not willing to budge on it one bit. This is not a personal opinion of mine, but it is something I definitely think about when addressing this issue.

  35. Everyone should be given equal rights in society. Coming from 2 minority groups, women and Latino origin, if it wash’t for the civil right movement, I probably wouldn’t be at the place i am now, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Gays, should be given their rights because all in all, we are all human, we are all equal and should all have the same rights and freedom. However, regardless of the rights we are given, there will always be people who do not agree, or do not respect them, but I think that is an issue that has always been and will continue, there are some people who don’t agree that women or minority races should have the same rights as men. But we do, everyone should be given the same respect and rights.

  36. I absolutely believe LGBT issues should have a place in civil rights discussions. Civil rights movements aims to make sure all people have political and social freedom and equality. Even though we have made many strides towards equality over the past few decades, right now there are still civil rights movements taking place regarding race, gender, and ethnicity. However, I believe the most oppressed group of people are those in the LGBT community. There are still laws preventing gay couples from being married or adopting children. It is not uncommon for people to be disowned by their families after coming out. The suicide rates of LGBT youth are staggering and some live their lives in fear simply because of who they are and who they love. That does not describe lives of those who are free or equal. We live in a country where those in the LGBT community are fighting for civil rights. This is the civil rights movement taking place right now and it’s the most necessary at this time. I believe when people look back at this period of time in American history it’s what the textbooks will or at least should be talking about.

  37. Human rights are rights that are God given liberties that every individual posses whether they believe they should be granted or not. America is a conservative country full of cookie cutter people. I’m extremely puzzled that we are still having LGBT relating issues involving in the work place and that in the health care industry. I feel like there will always be at least one group of people oppressed. Reality is people are different and every single individual deserves the same rights.

  38. Marisol Rodríguez

    I believe that issues like gay rights, LGBT issues involving marriage, workplace discrimination, and shared health care benefits all have a place in the civil rights. Every person should have the right of making there own decisions and if they want to be gay or marry someone of the same sex so be it. People should not be discriminated because they choose to marry someone of the same sex. Every person should be entitled to the same rights and be treated equally.if we are preventing people from marrying each other because they are gay than that is taking away their rights. I do believe that there is a civil rights movement going on today, many people are not afraid of speaking up to what they believe.

  39. The question being what revolution is taking place in america, and currently its the civil right to privacy online. Under the PATRIOT act that was passed in 2001, service providers must give their communication data to a government entity in spite of saying that they will not distribute to third parties, FISA tapping has been slipped into a congressional bill and it is what most people have been rising up against. There have been pushes for the protection of net neutrality, and there has been talk about making internet into a utility. This means that the internet has become a vital part of our lives, and has absolutely revolutionized our access to the world. It is a resource, a connection, that must be uninfringed by either the government, or a major corporate entity. No one country can own it, and it belongs to the people at this point in history.

  40. Beth Triezenberg

    There will always be a discussion of civil rights in this country because we are such a diverse society. We still see discrimination against women, African-Americans, veterans, the disabled, elderly, and the gay/lesbian community. At my place of employment they are few rules at all regarding dress code or religion. They will never have a rule that someone can construe as discrimination and they use a pay grade that pays men and women equal pay. I work for the Federal government and they take ethics, discrimination and harassment and very seriously.

  41. I strongly believe that gay rights and LGBT issues deserve to be included in the civil rights. As american citizens, we are all given the rights to make our own decisions and we should expect to be treated fairly and with equality. Each individual should have the freedom to express their choices or own inner drives. If someone decides to be gay, lesbian,or marry someone of the same sex, they should have the freedom to do so and they should also be entitled to civil rights. Not allowing someone to make their own decisions about their sex or sexual orientation is taking away someones freedom. I do believe that there is a civil rights movement going on today because LGBT and same sex marriages are becoming more common today.

  42. I think that gay and LGBT rights should definitely fall under civil rights. I think that term should branch out to all people without discrimination. I think it would be somewhat hypocritical to exclude a group of individuals when discussing civil rights. That being said I find the fact that gays are not offered some of the same basic rights and freedoms as everybody else. Marriage being a key one. Why does somebody else’s marriage bother so many people? It’s absurd how offended get by them. Gays are human beings just like everybody else. They’re no different than any of us. Who’s to say being attracted to the opposite gender is right or wrong? Everybody has their own preferences. And I also think there is definitely a civil rights movement occurring to address some of the issues and controversy surrounding the situation. I think it’s only a matter of time before they are granted equality and willingly and openly accepted in today’s society.

  43. LGBT rights definitely qualify as another civil rights movement that should be solved immediately. People like what they like and who are we to tell them they can’t live their life the way they want to (especially if it is doing absolutely no harm to anyone.) I think not letting gays marry is equal to not letting interracial couples marry. Let people be happy, that’s all there is to it. This topic should be discussed as it is affecting the way America looks and I wish we were more accepting of our people and things they believe in. Someone’s personal life should not affect their work position or reputation if they are gay. I doubt that would affect their work ethic or professionalism in any way. Just like racism this is something that will take time for people to accept but we just will never get everyone to see eye to eye.

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