He argued that homosexuality was a victimless crime, and therefore not deserving of social approbation or criminal charges. English sexologist Havelock Ellis wrote the first objective scientific study of homosexuality in , in which he treated it as a neutral sexual condition. When passed, The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age in private in England and Wales. The institute conducted an enormous amount of research, saw thousands of transgender and homosexual clients at consultations, and championed a broad range of sexual reforms including sex education, contraception and women's rights.
In Columbia University officially recognized this group, thus making them the first college in the United States to officially recognize a gay student group. By the end of his life, Symonds' homosexuality had become an open secret in Victorian literary and cultural circles. This step was part of a larger project of freeing sexual relationships and expanding women's rights — including legalising abortion, granting divorce on demand, equal rights for women, and attempts to socialise housework. John Addington Symonds was a poet and an early advocate of male love. S,  was bankrolled by the wealthy transsexual man Reed Erickson. In the s, Carpenter began a concerted effort to campaign against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation , possibly in response to the recent death of Symonds, whom he viewed as his campaigning inspiration. In particular, Symonds' memoirs, written over a four-year period, from to , form the earliest known self-conscious homosexual autobiography. The Swiss journal Der Kreis was the only part of the movement to continue through the Nazi era. All but James Adair were in favour of this and, contrary to some medical and psychiatric witnesses' evidence at that time, found that "homosexuality cannot legitimately be regarded as a disease, because in many cases it is the only symptom and is compatible with full mental health in other respects. Desire is an amatory Impulse of the inmost human Parts: Social reformer Jeremy Bentham wrote the first known argument for homosexual law reform in England around , at a time when the legal penalty for buggery was death by hanging. In , the Labouchere Amendment was included in the Criminal Law Amendment Act , which criminalized 'any act of gross indecency with another male person'; a charge that was successfully invoked to convict playwright Oscar Wilde in with the most severe sentence possible under the Act. When passed, The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between two men over 21 years of age in private in England and Wales. These groups usually preferred the term homophile to homosexual, emphasizing love over sex. Whence spring these inclinations, rank and strong? Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the LGBT youth organization Vanguard was formed by Adrian Ravarour to demonstrate for equality, and Vanguard members protested for equal rights during the months of April—July , followed by the August Compton's riot, where transgender street prostitutes in the poor neighborhood of Tenderloin rioted against police harassment at a popular all-night restaurant, Gene Compton's Cafeteria. The institute conducted an enormous amount of research, saw thousands of transgender and homosexual clients at consultations, and championed a broad range of sexual reforms including sex education, contraception and women's rights. Immediately following World War II , a number of homosexual rights groups came into being or were revived across the Western world , in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the United States. There were, however, some exceptions. In , Ives created and founded the first homosexual rights group, the Order of Chaeronea. For example, in the 17th century cross dressing was common in plays, as evident in the content of many of William Shakespeare 's plays and by the actors in actual performance since female roles in Elizabethan theater were always performed by males, usually prepubescent boys. A gay march held in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, according to some historians, marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. Carpenter thought that homosexuality was an innate and natural human characteristic and that it should not be regarded as a sin or a criminal offence. In the book, Ellis argued that same-sex relationships could not be characterized as a pathology or a crime and that its importance rose above the arbitrary restrictions imposed by society. The motif of masks and unmasking was prevalent in the homophile era, prefiguring the political strategy of coming out and giving the Mattachine Society its name.
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