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Gay Rights at the Ballot Box

Gay Rights at the Ballot Box

Amy L. Stone
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 272
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttksn
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  • Book Info
    Gay Rights at the Ballot Box
    Book Description:

    Gay Rights at the Ballot Box examines how the tactics of LGBT activists have evolved, unraveling the complex relationship between ballot measure campaigns and the broader goals of the LGBT movement. Amy L. Stone draws on archival research and interviews with LGBT activists to provide a detailed account of the campaigns to stop such ballot measures from passing into law.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8020-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. INTRODUCTION WINNING (BUT MOSTLY LOSING) AT THE BALLOT BOX
    (pp. xiii-xxxii)

    NOVEMBER 4, 2008. The world watched as promising young, progressive Senator Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, sweeping the state of California. That same night, newscasters reported that Californians had passed Proposition 8, a statewide constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court had recognized same-sex marriage rights earlier that year, and more than eighteen thousand same-sex marriages had already been conducted when Proposition 8 was passed. To the surprise of many, the supporters of Proposition 8 successfully defeated the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) campaign in U.S. history, a campaign that dwarfed...

  6. CHAPTER 1 FROM ANITA BRYANT TO CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 8 THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT’S ATTACK ON LGBT RIGHTS
    (pp. 1-40)

    DIRECT DEMOCRACY, or the proposal and passage of laws through voters rather than legislators, has been a longtime tool of social movements, including those working to derail or restrict minority rights. The anti-gay Religious Right, a movement birthed in the late 1970s that had become a national movement by the early 1990s, has used direct democracy as a tool to effectively roll back LGBT rights. By fighting LGBT rights at the ballot box, the Religious Right has mobilized interested local activists, affected public opinion, and grown as a movement. This chapter documents the history of how the Religious Right used...

  7. CHAPTER 2 AN UPHILL BATTLE IN THE 70s AND 80s BUILDING LGBT MOVEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE
    (pp. 41-62)

    WHEN GAY AND LESBIAN RESIDENTS of Boulder, Colorado, were faced with a referendum on their recently passed nondiscrimination ordinance in 1974, they had no models to look to from previous campaigns. There were no former leaders of LGBT campaigns to call. The campaign had to persuade voters to support gay rights at a time when more than 70 percent of the nation believed that homosexuality was always wrong.¹ The two existing national organizations, Lambda Legal and the Task Force, were weak, poorly funded, and newly created. Indeed, there was not yet a real national LGBT movement; scattered, individual organizations across...

  8. CHAPTER 3 FIGHTING THE RIGHT IN THE 90s DEVELOPING SOPHISTICATED CAMPAIGNS
    (pp. 63-90)

    AS URVASHI VAID OBSERVES, 1992 to 1996 was indeed “the best of times and the worst of times.” In the midst of progress in media visibility and in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, the LGBT community was faced with the largest and most dramatic culture war against LGBT rights to date. A growing Religious Right targeted the LGBT movement in the name of “family values”; this right-wing backlash included attempted ballot measures from California to Maine and the use of draconian legal-restrictive initiatives. The LGBT movement struggled internally with issues around inclusivity, as community members who were transgender, bisexual, and people...

  9. CHAPTER 4 A WINNING STREAK TEACHING CAMPAIGN TACTICS, BUILDING STATEWIDE ORGANIZATIONS, AND SPREADING VICTORIES
    (pp. 91-128)

    ON THE HEELS of theRomer v. EvansSupreme Court victory in 1996, the LGBT movement entered its first and only winning streak at the ballot box. During this time, it won the majority of direct legislation battles, and between 2001 and 2003, it won all local referendums and initiatives. These victories included the retention of an LGBT rights ordinance in Miami Dade County in 2002—a symbolic victory and evidence of the movement’s growing potency. This winning streak was coupled with other victories, such as rising lesbian and gay visibility in the media and mainstream, the passage of state...

  10. CHAPTER 5 LOSING AT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RETHINKING BALLOT MEASURE TACTICS
    (pp. 129-154)

    IN A CRUEL TWIST OF FATE, just as the LGBT movement was celebrating a series of victories between 2000 and 2002, it experienced the agony of defeat in the November 2004 general election. In this one election, more statewide anti-gay ballot measures were on states’ ballots and passed than in any previous election. The trend of losing ground in state elections continued for five years, as marriage bans were passed in many states or as constitutional amendments and marriage gains were retracted in California and Maine at the ballot box. These losses led LGBT organizations to reconsider campaign tactics, specifically...

  11. CHAPTER 6 SMEARS, TEARS, AND QUEERS RACE AND TRANSGENDER INCLUSION IN CAMPAIGNS
    (pp. 155-178)

    GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, 2009.Between television shows, a commercial airs. Several children are frolicking on a carousel in the park. One small girl with long blonde hair jumps off the carousel and walks into the women’s restroom. A scruffy, unshaven man in a baseball cap and sunglasses follows her into the bathroom. The commercial warns the viewer that their “door of opportunity is closing” and to act now by signing a petition to place a recently passed LGBT rights ordinance on the ballot.¹ What does a man in the women’s bathroom have to do with LGBT rights? This commercial was aired...

  12. CONCLUSION THE FUTURE OF GAY RIGHTS AT THE BALLOT BOX
    (pp. 179-184)

    BALLOT MEASURE CAMPAIGNS are difficult to fight. They take time, energy, and resources, along with the investment of thousands of volunteers. A victory may propel movement goals forward or stall the opposition. A defeat may demoralize followers, exhaust leaders, and set back movement goals. Although local ballot measures primarily have consequences for the local community, they may be perceived as consequential to the broader movement. National resources and advice pour into local campaigns. A local defeat may allow a strategy to spread across the country, affecting community members elsewhere. A local victory may be hailed as a national victory.

    LGBT...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 185-220)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 221-235)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 236-236)