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From the Publisher"This arresting book historically interrogates the relationship between sexuality and social policy development in the United States and Canada. A must read for scholars of sexuality and of political development, Smith's study helps us to see how conflict over cultural issues can map through institutional developmental dynamics and then how these dynamics can reformulate cultural struggles. The book also provides a finely grained explanation of the interplay among legal-institutional development, the discourse of rights, and lesbian and gay movement politics. Political Institutions and Lesbian and Gay Rights in the United States and Canada is the definitive analysis of the relationship between sexuality and political development – and shows clearly why this relationship must be understood by any serious student of politics."
Associate Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies, University at Albany, SUNY
"No serious student of both social movements and democratic constitutionalism can fail to profit from this pathbreaking comparative study. Anyone committed to human rights in general and gay rights in particular will better understand how and why the United States has in some areas fallen so far behind other constitutional democracies once inspired by the American example."
David A.J. Richards
Edwin D. Webb Professor of Law, New York University, author of The Case for Gay Rights and Women, Gays, and the Constitution
"Miriam Smith takes the evolution of gay and lesbian rights in Canada and the United States in a new direction. Through her careful analysis of the institutions through which policies unfold over time, she enriches our understanding of how and why the two countries differ today."
Mildred A. Schwartz
Visiting scholar at New York University and Emerita Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago
"Smith's thoughtful examination of the greater recognition offered to gays and lesbians in Canada versus the United States provides a compelling case for why political institutions really do matter. Policy legacies, federalism, the separation of powers, the role of courts and political timing all play a part in this fascinating account of LGBT rights. Moving beyond public opinion and religious culture, Smith provides an incisive analysis of sexuality as a key system of power that is more comprehensively understood through American political development and new institutionalist frameworks."
Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies, Ohio University
"This work is a contribution to the fields of LGBT studies, Canadian politics, and comparative politics more generally. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, and research faculty." - CHOICE, April 2009 Vol. 46 No. 08