Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy, and Civil Rights / Edition 1

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The two dozen essays assembled in Creating Change examine some of the most bitterly contested and controversial public events and public policy battles in American history. These writings, each by a leading activist or scholar, recount how a specific constituency—gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, and their allies—achieved tremendous progress despite seemingly insurmountable barriers. With each of the chapters written by an activist or scholar integral to the specific area of discussion, this is a work of scholarship and a work of passion about the way the American political and cultural landscape became what it is today. It is the story of how social change is made.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This collection of essays chronicles the history, successes, and failures of the gay agenda, from the passionate immediacy of public protest marches to the plodding maneuverings of political and public policy initiatives . . . [The book] successfully illustrates the incremental nature of change inherent in our political system, especially when viewed against the swifter social acceptance within mainstream media culture."—Library Journal

"Vaid, D'Emilio, and Turner know their material well . . . This collection of twenty-three articulate, scholarly essays [is] both necessary and commendable . . . Ideal for anyone interested in the contemporary political scene as well as gay politics."—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312287122
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

John D'Emilio

John D'Emilio is a Guggenheim fellow, professor of history at the University of North Carolina, and author of numerous books including the classic Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities.

William B. Turner is a visiting assistant professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University.

Urvashi Vaid is the Director of the Policy Institute (and former Executive Director) of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She is the author of Virtual Equality: The Mainstreaming of Gay and Lesbian Liberation.


John D'Emilio is professor of history and of gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, from 1995 to 1997 he served as the Founding Director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He is the co-author of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (1997). He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982.

Author biography courtesy of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Good To Know

In our interview, D'Emilio shared some fun facts and fascinating insights with us:

"I eat cereal every night before bed, and eat it with orange juice rather than milk. Cheerios and Grape Nuts are my current favorites."

"I won the citywide essay contest of the Archdiocese of New York back in 1961 or 1962, and got written up (I think on the front page, but I'm not sure) in the New York Herald Tribune -- a great paper, now defunct."

"Every time I get a new computer, I have to delete all the games on it because if I didn't, I'd never get anything else done!"

"I make a chicken soup and a tomato sauce that is better than any I've ever had."

"I long for a time again in this country when values of generosity, community, justice, and peacefulness reign."

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    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bronx, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Columbia University, 1970; Ph.D., 1982

Table of Contents


1. Mirror Images: Lesbian/Gay Civil Rights in the Carter and Reagan Administrations—William B. Turner

2. Beating Around Bush: Gay Rights and America's 41st President—Joe Rollins

3. A "Friend" in the White House? Reflections on the Clinton Presidency—Craig A. Rimmerman

4. From Bowers v. Hardwick to Romer v. Evans: Lesbian and Gay Rights in the U.S. Supreme Court—Arthur S. Leonard


5. From Agitator to Insider: Fighting for Inclusion in the Democratic Party—Jean O'Leary

6. Caught Between Worlds: Gay Republicans Step Out, and into the Political Fray—Richard Tafel

7. A Wheel Within a Wheel: Sexual Orientation and the Federal Workforce—Leonard P. Hirsch


8. The Federal Gay Rights Bill: From Bella to ENDA—Chai R. Feldblum

9. Government v. Gays: Two Sad Stories with Two Happy Endings, Civil Service Employment and Security Clearances—Franklin E. Kameny

10. American Immigration Law: A Case Study in the Effective Use of the Political Process—Barney Frank

11. Getting It Straight: A Review of the "Gays in the Military" Debate—Tim McFeeley

12. Bridging Race, Class, and Sexuality for School Reform—N'Tanya Lee, Don Murphy, Lisa North, and Juliet Ucelli

13. The Emergence of a Gay and Lesbian Antiviolence Movement—David M. Wertheimer


14. Couples: Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership—David L. Chambers

15. Raising Children: Lesbian and Gay Parents Face the Public and the Courts—Nancy D. Polikoff

16. Family Values: From the White House Conference on Families to the Family Protection Act—Thomas J. Burrows


17. Advocating for Lesbian Health in the Clinton Years—Marj Plumb

18. Contested Membership: Black Gay Identities and the Politics of AIDS—Cathy J. Cohen

19. The Ryan White CARE Act: An Impressive, Dubious Accomplishment—John-Manuel Andriote


20. Lesbians Travel the Roads of Feminism Globally—Charlotte Bunch and Claudia Hinojosa

21. Three Marches, Many Lessons—Nadine Smith

22. Facing Discrimination, Organizing for Freedom: The Transgender Community—Phyllis Randolph Frye, Esq.

23. Organizational Tales: Interpreting the NGLTF Story—John D'Emilio


Notes on Contributors

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