Introduction

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Atlanta Gay Rights Alliance banner in gay pride parade, Atlanta, Georgia, June 25, 1977.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social movements advocate equal rights and social acceptance for sexual/gender minorities.  (“LGBT rights” may also be called “gay rights” or “gay and lesbian rights.”) Although such movements have a long history, the new era of gay rights activism arose during the 1980s with the emergence of AIDS, which had decimated the gay community.  While equality of legal rights constitutes a major goal, many activists also work on building community and on liberating the larger society from what they view as unjust heterosexism and homophobia.  There are many activists and a variety of organizations involved in the LGBT movements.