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Gay Rights at the Ballot Box$
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Amy L. Stone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675470

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675470.001.0001

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An Uphill Battle in the 70s and 80s

An Uphill Battle in the 70s and 80s

Building LGBT Movement Infrastructure

(p.41) Chapter 2 An Uphill Battle in the 70s and 80s
Gay Rights at the Ballot Box

Amy L. Stone

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter traces how the groundwork of the LGBT movement was laid out during the 1970s and 1980s. It shows that the movement’s initial response to Religious Right-sponsored ballot measures against homosexuality was weak due to the absence of a real social movement infrastructure, especially strong national and statewide organizations, to support local campaigns. The chapter also examines the increasing relationship between social movements and campaigns during the period, which was a time of tactical innovation and experimentation, wherein activists tried direct-action protests, new forms of political messaging about privacy, LGBT-sponsored initiatives, and professional polling. The period also saw LGBT activists develop new tactics such as political messaging about LGBT rights, and counterpetitioning, which confronted and educated both voters and petition collectors.

Keywords:   LGBT movement, Religious Right, social movement infrastructure, sponsored ballot measures, direct-action protests, political messaging, professional polling, LGBT rights, counterpetitioning

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