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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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Smears, Tears, and Queers

Smears, Tears, and Queers

Race and Transgender Inclusion in Campaigns

(p.155) Chapter 6 Smears, Tears, and Queers
Gay Rights at the Ballot Box

Amy L. Stone

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter analyzes the ways in which ballot measure campaigns hinder a social movement’s gains during campaign periods, highlighting racial coalition building and transgender inclusion. Since the 1970s, there has been a conflict within the LGBT movement concerning inclusivity and representativeness. Like most identity politics, struggles within the LGBT movement involve diverse individuals who may have little in common besides gender identity and/or sexual orientation. The chapter uses case studies of the 1998 and 2002 Ypsilanti campaigns of the LGBT movement to demonstrate how inclusion complicates model campaign tactics. It also discusses how the Religious Right exploited the internal conflicts of the LGBT movement through smear tactics and racialized special rights messaging. With these moves, the Religious Right put pressure on LGBT campaigns by questioning whether the African American community supports LGBT rights and vice-versa.

Keywords:   ballot measure campaigns, social movements, racial coalition building, transgender inclusion, inclusivity, representativeness, Religious Right, LGBT rights

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