Feminist groups such as now made ratification a top

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Chapter 10 / Exercise 25
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Feminist groups such as NOW made ratification a top priority but also realized that support- ers would need more time to gain support for full equality of the sexes. At its 1978 annual meeting, the group circulated a document that declared “a State of Emergency for the National Organization for Women in which we turn all our resources to the ratification effort and to extension of the deadline for ratification an additional seven years” (as cited in Keetley & Pettegrew, 2002, p. 258). Although many Republicans had once supported the ERA, New Right conservatives fought back with a vengeance. A countermovement headed by conservative leaders, including Phyllis Schlafly and Jerry Falwell, mobilized the opposition. Combining the assault against both Roe and the ERA, New Right antifeminists argued that both threatened the traditional family, and especially housewives. Schlafly argued that the ERA would lead to unisex toilets and pregnant women in military combat. She and a growing number of conservatives came to view the ERA as a fundamental rejection of women’s traditional roles and an attempt to allow government intervention in the family. Somewhat hypocritically, the same conservatives supported legal restrictions on abor- tion based on the same assumption that it distorted the traditional family (Wolbrecht, 2010). Gay Pride and the AIDS Crisis The surge of gay pride and homosexual activism following the 1969 Stonewall Riots (see Chapter 12) offered another source of controversy. In many urban areas gays and lesbians built a distinct counterculture and openly expressed their sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian bars, newspapers, magazines, and political and social groups provided platforms for public expression. Gays became important voting blocs in some cities, and books and movies began to reveal their rich and important contributions to American life. A movement to end dis- crimination on the basis of sexual orientation gained ground, horrifying many evangelical Christians. In 1973 the American Psychological Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder.
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Chemistry: The Molecular Science
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Chapter 10 / Exercise 25
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Section 13.4 The Reagan Era © Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis Marchers in the 1977 Gay Freedom Day parade hold a sign protesting Anita Bryant’s antigay campaign. Unimpressed, members of the New Right lashed out at so-called homosexual perversion. In 1977 singer and former Miss America runner-up Anita Bry- ant joined the Religious Right’s condemnation of homosexuality when she spoke out against a local ordinance in Florida that barred discrimination based on sexual preference. She publicly denounced homosexuals’ claim to minority group status and warned against allowing gays to teach children lest their “depravity” engulf their pupils. Expressing the belief of many conservatives, Bryant portrayed the gay lifestyle as a choice: “Homosexuals, unlike Jews and blacks, choose their status, have not been persecuted or enslaved, and are set apart by their behavior rather than their ethnic heritage” (as cited in Kalman, 2010, p. 257).

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