Thursday, March 3, 2011

Via JMG: New Book: Germans Invented Gay Rights

According to a coming book by historian Robert Beachy, the genesis of the modern gay rights movement came in 19th century Germany.
Modern conceptions of homosexuality began, ironically, with an anti-sodomy law. When the German empire was unified in 1871, the Imperial Criminal Code included a law prohibiting sexual penetration of one man by another. Questions about what types of activity should fall under the law spurred a sustained public inquiry into the nature of same-sex eroticism and sexuality in general. [snip] This new view of same-sex love was pioneered by German doctors who published early case studies of homosexuals in the 1850s. German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing released the first edition of his hugely influential Psychopathia Sexualis in 1886, which included multiple case studies of homosexuals that supported this new position. Through his work, Krafft-Ebing became a vocal opponent of the German anti-sodomy law, stating that homosexuality "should not be viewed as a psychic depravity or even sickness."
Beachy claims the world's first gay rights group, the Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee (Scientific-Humanitarian Committee) came into being at that time to gather petition signatures to repeal the anti-sodomy law. His book, The German Invention Of Homosexuality, is due out next year.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: HomoQuotable - Jim Burroway

"This [Westboro] ruling is important for many reasons. First and foremost, it preserves the primacy of free speech in America, which benefits us all. But from a parochial pro-LGBT narrative, it’s equally important to note that it proves the lie to the multiple instances when anti-gay activists falsely claimed that advances in LGBT equality and protections — whether they come in the form of marriage equality or hate crimes protections — will result in the infringement of religious and speech rights. They never have and, if this ruling is any indication, it reaffirms the fact that they never will. So the next time someone claims that marriage equality will result in pastors being prosecuted for hate speech, make a note of it: Snyder v Phelps." - Jim Burroway, writing for Box Turtle Bulletin.

reposted from Joe