The Civil Rights Movement, which took place in the 1950's, is widely considered one of the most pivotal movements towards seeking equality for a minority group against a majority group in this country's history. In textbooks, literature, and films alike, the African American struggle to be viewed simply as "human" through the eyes of their white counterparts is portrayed through images of horrible inequality, police brutality, and violations of the United States constitution, which guarantees equal protection of all American citizens under the law. We have progressed since the 1980's, and while inequality still exists in some formats, the Civil Rights Movement was undoubtedly successful for blacks in the United States. However, a new fight for equality and humanization by a minority group has emerged-and this struggle is known today as The Gay Rights Movement.
Similarly to the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay Rights Movement is currently striving for equal protection under the law, and fair treatment within various institutions such as the institution of marriage, or within the work place. The striking similarities between the two movements have caused some to draw parallels, even going as far to claim that "gay is the new black," however, it has also caused some to throw their hands up in opposition, claiming that the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement are incomparable. Upon analysis of the two movements, however, it becomes ever apparent that despite the explicit differences the Gay Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement are actually one in the same.
Most basically, Civil Rights are defined as "a class of rights that protect individual's freedoms, especially as applied to an individual or a minority group," they are further defined within the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This document ensures the physical integrity and safety of American citizens as well as the protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical/mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, and age (Civil Rights Act, 1964).