The gay rights movement began in 19th century Germany with a man named Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was the first self-proclaimed gay man to speak out publicly for the rights of homosexuals. In both written and spoken form, he was the first person to demand the decriminalization of homosexuality as well as the complete legal equality of all sexual orientations. Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was, in many ways, the world’s first gay activist.
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