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The Politics of Gay Rights

Few issues in American politics inspire such passion as that of civil rights for gays and lesbians. In this group of original essays, scholars and activists writing from a number of different perspectives provide a comprehensive overview of this heated debate. Contributors thoroughly investigate the politics of the gay and lesbian movement, beginning with its political organizations and tactics. The essays also address the strategies and ideology of conservative opposition groups, such as the Christian Right. They focus on key issues for public policy, including gays and lesbians openly serving in the military, anti-discrimination laws, and the ongoing crisis of AIDS. The book ends with chapters that discuss the ways in which the political struggle for gay rights has played out in various arenas—in Congress, in the courts, in state and local governments, and in electoral politics.

Forcefully argued and accessibly written, this collection is an important contribution to the current discussion about civil rights for gays and lesbians.

476 pages | 7 line drawings, 15 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2000

Gender and Sexuality

History: American History

Political Science: American Government and Politics, Public Policy

Sociology: Social Change, Social Movements, Political Sociology

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
1. The Context of Gay Politics
Kenneth D. Wald
I. The Gay Movement
2. Cycles of Change, Questions of Strategy: The Gay and Lesbian Movement after Fifty Years
John D’Emilio
3. Beyond Political Mainstreaming: Reflections on Lesbian and Gay Organizations and the Grassroots
Craig A. Rimmerman
4. Where Rhetoric Meets Reality: The Role of Black Lesbians and Gays in "Queer" Politics
Keith O. Boykin
5. Lesbian and Gay Policy Priorities: Commonality and Difference
Jean Reith Schroedel and Pamela Fiber
II. The Opposition
6. Antigay: Varieties of Opposition to Gay Rights
John C. Green
7. The Gay Agenda Is the Devil’s Agenda: The Christian Right’s Vision and the Role of the State
Didi Herman
8. Direct Democracy and Gay Rights Initiatives after Romer
Todd Donovan, Jim Wenzel, and Shaun Bowler
III. The Issues
9. DOMA and ENDA: Congress Votes on Gay Rights
Gregory B. Lewis and Jonathan L. Edelson
10. Gays and AIDS: Democratizing Disease?
Mark Carl Rom
11. Sex/uality and Military Service
Francine D’Amico
IV. The Arenas
12. The Politics of Gay Rights at the Local and State Level
James W. Button, Barbara A. Rienzo, and Kenneth D. Wald
13. Lesbian and Gay Politics in the States: Interest Groups, Electoral Politics, and Policy
Donald P. Haider-Markel
14. Gay and Lesbian Issues in the Congressional Arena
Colton C. Campbell and Roger H. Davidson
15. Sex and the Supreme Court: Gays, Lesbians, and Justice
Sarah E. Brewer, David Kaib, and Karen O’Connor
16. Gay Rights in the Public Sphere: Public Opinion on Gay and Lesbian Equality
Clyde Wilcox and Robin Wolpert

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