9-12 Kentucky

LGBTQ+ Rights Movement

This inquiry leads students through an investigation of the LGBTQ+ movement, primarily driven by the history of the movement through various accounts and perspectives. The compelling question—What makes a movement successful?—does not address whether or not the movement was successful, but instead assesses the components of a movement and whether the movement is in a period of growth or has already peaked. Although the focus of this inquiry is on the LGBTQ+ movement, parallels can be drawn to other social movements in history with respect to organization, activism, and overall execution, including the Civil Rights Movement or the women’s suffrage and rights movements. Specifically, this inquiry looks at four different aspects that can potentially shape a movement in its foundation as well as its rise, namely public reaction, government leaders and policies, Supreme Court cases, and personal experiences. Throughout the inquiry, students will examine each individual aspect independently, evaluating the merits, strengths, and significance of each provided source in the “Movement Analysis Organization Chart,” but the summative task will require a compilation and synthesis of the sources in this investigation in order to form an argument to address the compelling question.


Compelling Question:

What Makes a Movement Successful?

Staging the Question:

Read Changing Attitudes on Same Sex Marriage, Gay Friends and Family and discuss the LGBTQ+ movement with respect to the government and its policies on the local, state, and national levels.

Supporting Question How is the LGBTQ+ movement’s progress affected by the public’s reaction?

Formative Task Fill out the Movement Analysis Organization Chart, analyzing the public reaction’s effect on LGBTQ+ movement.

Sources Source A: Compton’s Cafeteria clips and article, Screaming Queens, NPR
Source B: “ERA and Homosexual ‘Marriages’,” The Phyllis Schlafly Report
Source C: "From Montgomery to Stonewall" speech, Bayard Rustin
Source D: “The Earth is Round,” It’s Time


Supporting Question How have government leaders and policies impacted the movement?

Formative Task Add to the Movement Analysis Organization Chart, incorporating how the impacts of legislation and governmental figures affect the LGBTQ+ movement.

Sources Source A: "Hope Speech,” Harvey Milk
Source B: Excerpts of various legislation impacting LGBTQ+ Source C: “Playing Politics at the Military’s Expense,” The New York Times
Source D: "The Prime Rib of America,” Lady Gaga


Supporting Question How have the Supreme Court and precedence influenced the movement?

Formative Task Add to the Movement Analysis Organization Chart, evaluating the aspects of the Supreme Court and its established precedence surrounding the LGBTQ+ movement.

Sources Source A: Romer v. Evans Majority Opinion
Source B: Lawrence v. Texas Applicant Oral Argument and Dissenting Opinion
Source C: United States v. Windsor Majority Opinion
Source D: Obergefell v. Hodges Majority and Dissenting Opinions


Supporting Question What role do people within the LGBTQ+ community play in the movement?

Formative Task Develop a claim that addresses how the movement was affected by the personal experiences of people within the LGBTQ+ community.

Sources Source A: “Coming Out To My Father,” The New Yorker, Richard Socarides
Source B: Images about the AIDS crisis
Source C: The Politics of Being Queer, Paul Goodman
Source D: When We Rise, Cleve Jones

Summative Performance Task

Argument: Construct an argument (i.e. essay or presentation) that addresses the compelling question, using specific claims and relevant evidence from historical and contemporary sources while acknowledging competing views.
Extension: Participate in a Socratic Seminar about the LGBTQ+ community and movement, incorporating your personal experiences and perspective (e.g. from conversations, media, television/movies, etc.).

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Accomplished through the Supporting Questions
Assess: Research and discuss the current progress of the movement (i.e. rights given to members of the LGBTQ+ community) at the local, state, or national levels, considering it within the context of the larger movement.
Act: Write to an outside institution (e.g. local newspaper, State Fairness Campaign, ACLU, etc.) discussing current policies and further steps needed.