Northeastern University > Library > Archives and Special Collections Dept.

We Raise Our Voices
Gay and Lesbian Pride and Politics

Sexual Freedom & Liberation

The freedom to select sexual partners and engage in sexual acts without repercussion was central to the gay liberation movement. Gay liberation groups emphasized the overthrow of dominant cultural paradigms that characterized homosexual behavior as deviant, evil, or abnormal. In the 1970s, many states began to repeal laws against same-sex and opposite-sex sexual acts between consenting adults in private. Although the fight for gay rights has extended into other areas of life beyond the bedroom, the decriminalization of gay sexual activity has not disappeared as an important issue. Four states still laws against same-sex sodomy, and eleven states, including Massachusetts, still have laws against same-sex and opposite-sex sodomy.



Gay Liberation Front flyer, letter, and sticker (1970)


United Fruit Company clipping and AIDS stickers (1986)

AIDS Action Committee’s Safe Company flyers (ca. 1990)

AIDS Action Committee Public Service Announcement video (1987)