How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism

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Overview

Religious Right on the national agenda now, activists have spent decades fighting for their platform, seeing themselves as David against the religious right's Goliath. At the same time, the religious right has continuously and effectively countered the endeavors of lesbian and gay activists, working to repeal many of the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and to advance a constitutional amendment "protecting" marriage.

In this accessible and grounded work, Tina Fetner uncovers a remarkably complex relationship between the two movements-one that transcends political rivalry. Fetner shows how gay activists and the religious right have established in effect a symbiotic relationship in which each side significantly affects the development of its counterpart. As lesbian and gay activists demand an end to prejudice, inclusion in marriage, the right to serve in the military, and full citizenship regardless of sexual orientation, the religious right has responded with antigay planks in Republican party platforms and the blocking of social and political change efforts. Fetner examines how the lesbian and gay movement reacts to opposition by changing rhetoric, tone, and tactics and reveals how this connection has influenced-and made more successful-the evolution of gay activism in the United States.

About the Author:
Tina Fetner is assistant professor of sociology at McMaster University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816649181
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Series: Social Movements, Protest and Contention Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The roots of activism : homosexuals and Christian evangelicals before the fight 1

2 The conflict emerges in the 1970s 23

3 Organizational development through the 1980s 44

4 Where's the party? : entering the Republican and Democrat folds 64

5 Taking to the streets : protest and direct democracy 84

6 Culture wars : battles for the hearts and minds of America 101

7 The impact of the religious right on lesbian and gay activism 119

Works cited 131

Index 145

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