As a nation, America has come a long way in how the legitimacy of gay marriage is seen throughout the nation. Back in 1771 in the state of Virginia homosexuality was an offense that could be punished by death or even castration (ACLU Stand, 2016). In 1948 President Truman took a different tactic and imposed a 10-year prison sentence on those accused of sodomy. He also made it illegal for homosexuals to enter the military.
Adding to the already mounting problem, President Eisenhower imposed order 10450 (Archives), which effectively dismissed any and all homosexual employees from federal employment. By 1969, when the well-known Stonewall Riots were being lauded as the beginning of the modern day LGBT movement, America had finally began to look at homosexuality from a different perspective. In fact it was less than a decade later in 1978 that Harvey Milk became San Francisco’s first homosexual to be elected to office. The fact that he was murdered only 6 months after being appointed did nothing to halt the still expanding LGBT movement.
From around 2004 to the current day marriage equality and civil liberties have been issues that the LGBT community have attempted to remedy. To date they have gained a great deal in the way of marriage equality, but civil liberties are still largely denied in most states. The LGBT is gaining ground when it comes to being treated as equals in all ways, but there is still much to be done.