Civil rights have been a central concept of US history in the 20th century. African-American Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement managed to make incredible changes in the American constitution in order to protect the legal and social rights of these minority groups.
As a result, many other groups started fighting for their civil rights. The LGBTQA community is a great example of that; the legalization of gay marriage has been a controversial and popular topic in the past few years. By legalizing gay marriage, members of the LGBTQA community will have rights equal to any couple when it comes to healthcare, property and reproduction. However, one should question the validity of this statement; will legalizing gay marriage by itself achieve the social equality this community is seeking? Afshan Kamrudin looks deeper into this question in his article, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back when combining the issue of civil rights of sexual minorities with ethnic minorities. Kamrudin interviews queer Muslims regarding the Defence of Marriage Act and Voting Rights Act.
Individuals who identify with more than one minority group are usually put in a difficult situation because of religious and/or ethnic factors. In Kamrudin’s case, these queer Muslims believe that equality can be achievable not only by a constitutional change, but by a change in the way heteronormative society thinks. Equality is different for every individual, and the only way to achieve it is by having an accepting attitude towards sexual and ethnic minorities.