Monthly Discussion



The Gay Movement in America


Same-sex marriages have been making front-page news for some time now in many parts of the United States. The topic of homosexuals in general has been in the news increasingly during recent decades. The question arises what kind of future should we expect for the gay movement.

To study the future of homosexuals I will make the hypothesis that their evolution follows a natural-growth process despite possible objections of extreme rightists. My reasons for doing so are first that the existence of homosexuals in society is as old as human society itself, and second that the growth patterns I have looked at (as we値l see below) do conform to S-shaped curves, hallmark of natural growth in competition.

Exhibit 3 shows cumulative milestones in the evolution of homosexuals. The data come from a timeline compiled by Aviva Moster in the University of Pennsylvania B-GLAD 2001 Magazine.[1] The data is a compilation of such events as:

        1999: VT Supreme Court rules gay couples must be granted the same benefits and protections awarded married couples of the opposite sex.

        1998: President Clinton signs bill denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages.

        1997: Walt Whitman Community School, US痴 first private school for lesbians and gays opens in Dallas.

        1992: Colonel Cammermeyer of Washington State National Guard admits she is a lesbian and is discharged dishonorably solely for this reason.

        1942: Men suspected of being sexually attracted to other men are castrated in Nazi concentration camps.

        1933: Hitler bans gay press.

        1916: The Liberal Catholic Church, the first religious group to minister openly to lesbians and gays, is founded in Sydney, Australia.



Milestones in Gay Evolution

Exhibit 3. We see the cumulative number of significant news headlines concerning homosexuals beginning at the turn of the 20th century.


The evolution shows a smooth exponential trend that conforms to the early part of an S-curve (purple line). Its mid-point is in the 2040s, implying that things will be accelerating until then.

There is certainly some arbitrariness and incompleteness in the data as compiled into this timeline. Therefore I looked for corroboration at another set of data. Exhibit 4 shows the evolution of same-sex rights in Canada. This data set concerns only gay-related legislature in Canada. Again the data are cumulative numbers beginning in 1965.[2]


Evolution of Same-Sex Rights in Canada

Exhibit 4. We see the cumulative number of same-sex legislature items passed in Canada since 1965. The purple line is the early part of an S-curve. Green, yellow, and turquoise lines outline short S-curve steps.


This time the evolution sows a clear stepwise growth pattern. One can discern at least four small S-curves succeeding one another as chapters of legislature become closed and new ones are opened. The overall pattern (purple line) seems again exponential, i.e. early part of an S-curve. The overall curve is to become half completed in the early 2020s.

The similarities between Exhibits 3 and 4 argue for growth processes that still are in their early development phases. Yet they are well established and therefore no longer run the risk of 妬nfant mortality. There can be no lid on homosexual issues in the near future. Even if same-sex marriages become outlawed in the short term, the gay movement will grow and will not reach maturityand hence quietnessfor a number of decades.

One thing homosexuals in America are exploiting to their advantage is the Internet. As I was searching for data on homosexuals I came across an interesting observation concerning the digital divide. Homosexuals have created an additional digital divide. The graph on the left side of Exhibit 4 shows the traditional digital divide, where Americans, Europeans, and Australasians dominate the use of the Internet in roughly comparable ways. However, the graph on the right side of Exhibit 4 shows that there is a further divide, in which homosexuals of North America are much more numerous than their European or Australasian counterparts, and growing!


The Digital Divide

Internet Users Gay Internet Users


Exhibit 5. There is an additional digital divide when it comes to gay populations. North America dominates the scene.



[1] http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS03K02

[2] Owen Wood and Justin Thompson, CBC News Online | Updated Nov. 27, 2003