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Gay flag
Gay rights is a human rights issue concerning the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Gay rights advocate the government recognition of same-sex marriages, allowing LGBT adoption, recognition of LGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation, non-discrimination laws, immigration equality laws, hate crime laws, equal age of consent laws, access to sex change operations, legal recognition and accomodation of reassigned gender, laws related to military service, and allowing gay men to donate blood, among other causes.

In much of the western world, LGBT couples have the right to either marry or form civil unions, but LGBT people are persecuted - often violently - in continents such as Africa and Asia. In Mauritania, northern Nigeria, parts of Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Islamic State, Iran, and parts of Afghanistan, same-sex intercourse is punishable by death, while other penalties (such as prison sentences) can be given out in Papua New Guinea and the rest of the Muslim world. The Gay rights movement took off in the United States during 1960s after the Stonewall riots of 1969, and the gay liberation movement spread to other Western countries such as the United Kingdom, which decriminalized homosexuality in 1967 and made the age of consent equal in 2000. In the United States, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay politician in 1978, only to be assassinated later that year. The Christian right opposed LGBT rights, and many gays joined the liberal Democratic Party with the goal of reforming society to be more permissive of their alternative lifestyles. During the 1990s and 2000s, the social conservative Republican Party opposed gay rights, passing laws such as the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law (which banned openly gay people from serving in the military), the North Carolina "bathroom bill" (which banned transgenders from using the bathrooms of their new identities), and the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" (which allowed for businesses to refuse service to gay people). It was not until 2015 that gay marriage was legalized nationwide as the result of Obergefell v. Hodges, and many Republicans claimed that the implementation of gay marriage laws across the USA was in violation of states' rights, an excuse used to "justify" their blatant homophobia and bigotry. In June 2017, Germany legalized same-sex marriages, one of the more recent Western countries to do so.

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