Personal Relationships Gay and Lesbian Law and Legal Definition

Gays and lesbians are homosexuals who are sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Typically, gay refers to a man whose sexual orientation is to men and lesbian refers to a women whose sexual orientation is to women. Bisexuals are sexually attracted to members of both sexes.

The legal rights of gays and lesbian have only recently become an open topic of debate in society. Often, homosexuality has been considered a crime in itself. Yet today, millions of gay and lesbian Americans are not only open about their sexuality, they are campaigning for new laws which they say would grant them the same rights accorded to heterosexuals, including the right to marry and protection against discrimination. Some of the issues affecting the legal rights of gays and lesbians include:

  • AIDS
  • Civil rights & non-discrimination
  • Hate crimes, anti-violence, anti-harassment
  • Marriage & domestic partnership
  • Military
  • Parenting, adoption, family
  • Schools, youth, Boy Scouts
  • Sodomy laws
  • Workplace & employment