Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights. Civil Society.
The Struggle for Gay Rights Is Over
LGBT Rights | Human Rights Watch
What limitations does the Constitution place on ability of states to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation? The Court first considered the matter in the case of Bowers v Hardwick , a challenge to a Georgia law authorizing criminal penalties for persons found guilty of sodomy. Although the Georgia law applied both to heterosexual and homosexual sodomy, the Supreme Court chose to consider only the constitutionality of applying the law to homosexual sodomy. Michael Hardwick, who sought to enjoin enforcement of the Georgia law, had been charged with sodomy after a police officer discovered him in bed with another man. Charges were later dropped. In Bowers , the Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Due Process Clause "right of privacy" recognized in cases such Griswold and Roe does not prevent the criminalization of homosexual conduct between consenting adults.
Social movements may focus on equal rights, such as the s movement for marriage equality, or they may focus on liberation, as in the gay liberation movement of the s and s. Earlier movements focused on self-help and self-acceptance, such as the homophile movement of the s. Although there is not a primary or an overarching central organization that represents all LGBT people and their interests, numerous LGBT rights organizations are active worldwide. The earliest organizations to support LGBT rights were formed in the 19th century.
In , David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited a Colorado bakery to order a custom cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to design a wedding cake for the same-sex wedding reception, saying he would not use his artistic talents to design a cake that conveyed a message supportive of same-sex marriage, which contradicts his personal religious views. The not-so-happy couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission alleging that in refusing to design, bake, and sell them a cake for their celebration, the bakery violated a Colorado state law barring sexual orientation discrimination. After the couple prevailed before the Commission and in the lower courts, on June 4, , the U. Supreme Court reversed in a decision, with Justice Kennedy authoring the majority opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop v.