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A look at LGBTQ+ rights throughout history

For centuries, LGBTQ+ people have existed across cultures and societies. Their experiences, however, have been vastly different. Let's explore some key moments in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights to further understand them in this Pride Month!

Did you know that LGBTQ+ is not a modern thing? In ancient China, male homosexuality was acknowledged and even recorded in various literary works. Meanwhile, in ancient Greece, same-sex relationships, particularly between men and adolescent boys, were an accepted part of society. These relationships were often documented and were sometimes seen as a form of mentorship and social bonding.

Though it appeared much sooner than we thought, the LGBTQ+ rights only started becoming a concerned thing in the modern times. The 20th century saw a rise in movements for LGBTQ+ rights. However, LGBTQ+ people also faced significant discrimination. In April 1952, the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. This classification fueled discrimination and justified exclusion. This same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order banning homosexuals from federal employment, citing security risks.

Despite these challenges, progress was made. The 1970s marked the beginning of significant progress: the first openly LGBTQ+ official in the US was elected, and the first federal gay rights bill was introduced, and though it never passed, it was a trailblazer to inspire future legislative efforts in raising LGBTQ+ rights. The rainbow flag, a powerful symbol of pride, was also created during this time, and things started getting better when Wisconsin became the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1982. Most impressively, in 1988, a National Coming Out Day was created.

The fight for marriage equality became a major focus in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A significant legal victory came in June 2003 when the US Supreme Court struck down the "homosexual conduct" law in Lawrence v. Texas, decriminalizing same-sex sexual conduct. This decision also reversed the 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick ruling that had upheld Georgia's sodomy law. Following that year, in 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States was performed, marking a historic moment in the fight for marriage equality. Later, In 2012, President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first sitting US president to publicly support same-sex marriage. That same year, the Democratic Party became the first major US political party to endorse same-sex marriage on a national platform at their convention.

Globally, progress has been uneven. In Vietnam, though same-sex marriage is not recognized, it is not banned either – same-sex weddings can still be organized without fearing of violating any law, but the couples cannot be recognized as a couple on paperwork. However, the country also took a progressive step by banning "conversion therapy" – a practice aimed at changing an individual's sexual orientation from LGBT to non-LGBT, and legalizing gender changing on paperwork to make things easier on transgender people.

At VinUni, all sexual orientations and gender identities are recognized and welcomed. In the last days of this Pride Month, take the chance to be proud of enduring the challenges you have been through as an LGBT! To the friendly LGBT allies, thank you for supporting and make VinUni a LGBT-friendly place!




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