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Words: 823, Paragraphs: 20, Pages: 3

Paper type: Essay , Subject: Gay Marriage

HASS Short Paper 1, based on Emile Durkheim

Claudia Koh Wei Ting


Cohort Class 08

years ago, the Stonewall riots in America fueled the LGBT equality movement. Today, there is an increasing acceptance of the LGBT community in society. Even though the presence of conservative attitude remains, more people are aware and receptive of LGBT groups. CITATION Rac18 l 1033 (Dowd, 2018) I believe the change in attitude regarding LGBT resulted from a change in solidarity and increase in morality.

Firstly, a change from mechanical to organic solidarity brought progress to LGBT equality. Identifying as LGBT in the traditional society could be a death sentence. CITATION Cro76 l 1033 (Crompton, 1976) The addition of oral sex to many sodomy laws in the 20th century in America fueled arrests and imprisonment of LGBT. CITATION Ric14 l 1033 (Richard Weinmeyer, 2014) There is discrimination of gays as seen from “During the 1950s, the acts of oral and anal sex between consenting adult men were conflated with child molestation” CITATION Ric14 l 1033 (Richard Weinmeyer, 2014). “An act is criminal when it offends strong and defined states of the collective conscience” CITATION Dur842 p 80 l 1033 (Durkheim, Mechanical Solidarity, 1984, p. 80) This coincides with Durkheim’s theory of solidarity. Law expresses social needs, which is based on collective opinions, as society share similar consciousness. CITATION Dur841 p 11 l 1033 (Durkheim, Preface to Second Edition (1902), 1984, p. 11) Mechanical solidarity takes form in retributive laws which discriminates LGBT, creating inequalities in social structure CITATION Soc09 l 1033 (Socialist Alternative, 2009). Social conflicts results. CITATION Han12 l 1033 (Hannan, 2012) By resolving social conflicts, it integrates and stabilizes society. CITATION Tur75 l 1033 (Turner, 1975)Even though LGBT equality is not fully achieved, the increase in acceptanceCITATION Fla19 l 1033 (Krause-Jackson, 2019) is evident in how religious groups alter their stance towards LGBT. CITATION Jon16 l 1033 (Coley, 2016) Organic solidarity arises with the recent legalization of gay marriage in Taiwan.

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Detractors argue that increase in acceptance of LGBT is not due to change to organic solidarity as there are presence of restitutive laws in traditional society – conversion therapy. I disagree that conversion therapy is based on homosexuality as a disease CITATION Fla19 l 1033 (Krause-Jackson, 2019) and “sometimes treated using electric shocks”CITATION Fla19 l 1033 (Krause-Jackson, 2019) to restore social equilibrium. There are no coexistence of LGBT community and homophobes.

Secondly, increase in morality increase the acceptance of LGBT. “Increase in density of a society caused new modes of the division of labour “ CITATION Dur84 p 18 l 1033 (Durkheim, Introduction to the 1984 Edition, 1984, p. 18) As society advances above primitive economy, individuals develop higher virtues. CITATION Ada59 l 1033 (Smith, 1759) There is sympathy for LGBT people and hence increase in understanding of LGBT. Hence, this results in increased acceptance. CITATION Edw05 l 1033 (Younkins, 2005) As many LGBT people holds varying specialized roles in society, taking on normal jobs, this creates interdependence within the differing individuals. Hence, there is a need to maintain the relations between LGBT community and society, bringing about acceptance of LGBT.

Durkheim’s theory of anomie is evident today, as the root of societal change. “continually recurring conflicts and disorders of every kind of which the economic world affords such a sorry spectacle”CITATION Dur841 p 9 l 1033 (Durkheim, Preface to Second Edition (1902), 1984, p. 9) In certain countries, there remains conflict between LGBT and homophobesCITATION Fla19 l 1033 (Krause-Jackson, 2019). More change is to be expected.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Coley, J. S. (2016, June 1). Reconciling Religion and LGBT Rights: Christian Universities, Theological Orientations, and LGBT Inclusion. Retrieved from SAGE journal :

Crompton, L. (1976). HOMOSEXUALS AND THE DEATH PENALTY IN COLONIAL AMERICA . Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 1(3), 277-289. Retrieved from Homosexuals and the Death Penalty in Colonial

Dowd, R. (2018, April 18). Acceptance of LGBT people and rights has increased around the world. Retrieved from The williams institute:

Durkheim, E. (1984). Introduction to the 1984 Edition. In L. Coser, The Division of Labour in Society (p. 18). New York: Free Press.

Durkheim, E. (1984). Mechanical Solidarity. In L. Coser, The Division of Labour in Society (p. 80).

Durkheim, E. (1984). Preface to Second Edition (1902). In L. Coser, The Division of Labour in Society (p. 11). New York: Free Press.

Hannan, P. (2012, September 21). Social Conflict Theory. Retrieved June 2019, 27, from Sophia:

Krause-Jackson, F. (2019, March 14). Gay Rights. Retrieved June 26, 2019, from The Washington Post:

Richard Weinmeyer, J. M. (2014, November ). The Decriminalization of Sodomy in the United States. Retrieved from AMA Journal of Ethics:

Smith, A. (1759). Theory of Moral Sentiments. Scotland: printed for Andrew Millar, in the Strand; and Alexander Kincaid and J. Bell, in Edinburgh.

Socialist Alternative. (2009, September 9). The Reality of LGBT Oppression. Retrieved from Socialist Alternative:

Turner, J. H. (1975, June). Marx and Simmel Revisited: Reassessing the Foundations of Conflict Theory. doi:10.2307/2576477

Younkins, E. W. (2005, April 15). ADAM SMITH’S MORAL. Retrieved from Le Quebecois Libre:

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