By Rebecca Plotkin
Anti-gay activists are often accused of being on the wrong side of history (this being a reference to the Civil Rights Movement). However, many argue that the fight for marriage rights is not a civil rights cause. Forty-four years after the Stonewall riots--a huge force in LGBTQ rights movement--an innocent gay man was killed just blocks away from the infamous Stonewall Inn. This shooting of Marc Carson has brought the importance of civil rights into a new light.
Marc Carson’s death was the result of a hate crime. He was profiled by a man who saw him on the street. According tonytimes.com, the shooter screamed anti-gay slurs at Carson and then shot him point blank.
Despite hate crimes like this, some Americans seem to be caught up in the idea that in order for gay rights to be a civil rights cause, there needs to be the same public prejudice that existed in the ‘60s. In an article ontheamericanconservative.org, Jack Hunter argues, “No one is turning water hoses on [gay people]. They are not being attacked by police dogs.” A quick Google search of the term defines civil rights as, “the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.”
Carson was murdered because of his sexual orientation. It was an attack on his social freedom and equality. His story alone serves as proof that gay American citizens are being stripped of their civil rights. The fact that our government will not pass federal legislation regarding the civil rights of gay Americans allows this ignorance and hate to continue.