Private lives, public conflicts: battles over gay rights in American communities

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CQ Press, 1997 - Social Science - 223 pages
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Should an employer be required to cover a gay employee's partner under its insurance plan? Do schools have a responsibility to protect gay students from harassment and violence? Is public safety compromised if police and fire departments hire openly gay employees? These are a few of the contentious questions at the center of the struggle for -- and against -- gay rights in cities large and small across the country.Addressing some of the most controversial issues of our era, Private Lives, Public Conflicts examines the on-going political debate surrounding gay rights. The book analyzes the politics of enacting gay rights policies; the impact of gay rights laws on public schools, the police, and businesses; and the political opposition to this movement.Based on a comprehensive national survey and an intensive study of five diverse U.S. cities, the authors provide the first systematic analysis of the politics of gay and lesbian rights at the local level.By interviewing activists and officials on both sides of the battles, the authors present a clear picture of the political dynamics surrounding gay rights issues, including an insightful look at supporters' and opponents' struggles to uphold their social values and political agendas. The book examines how gay rights activists have worked to persuade local jurisdictions to change policies and how different cities have responded with varying approaches.Written for a wide audience, this important book provides a balanced perspective on the many issues surrounding the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community.

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Contents

The Contemporary Gay Political Movement
23
The Politics of Gay Rights Laws
58
The Schools and Gay and Lesbian Youth
139
Copyright

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