Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights

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Princeton University Press, May 8, 2005 - Law - 246 pages

What can straight people do to support gay rights? How much work or sacrifice must allies take on to do their share? Ian Ayres and Jennifer Brown--law professors, activists, husband and wife--propose practical strategies for helping straight men and women advocate for and with the gay community.

Straightforward advances a thesis that is at once simple and groundbreaking: to make real progress at the central flashpoints of controversy--marriage rights, employment discrimination, gays in the military, exclusion from the Boy Scouts, and religious controversies over homosexuality--straight as well as gay people need to speak up and act for equality. Ayres and Brown take aim at both the hearts and minds of the general public, focusing on strategies that can change the incentives and therefore the behavior of the recalcitrant.

The book is peppered with stories about real people and the decisions they have faced at home, in church, at work, in school, and in politics. It is also filled with creative legal and economic strategies for influencing public and corporate decision-making. For example, Ayres and Brown propose the development of a "fair employment mark" to help companies advertise inclusive employment policies. They also show how a simple pledge to vacation in states that legalize gay marriage can create powerful incentives for legislatures to amend their marriage laws.

Engagingly written and sure to spark debate, Straightforward promises to change the way America thinks about--and participates in--the gay rights movement.


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Straightforward: how to mobilize heterosexual support for gay rights

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Advocacy seems to be the buzzword of the gay rights movement today, and one sign is the plethora of books aimed at the sympathetic heterosexual audience. Ayres (law, Yale Law Sch.) and Brown (law ... Read full review


Heterosexual Allies and the Gay Rights Movement
Parenting Parishes PTAs and Places of Employment
The Vacation Pledge for Equal Marriage Rights
The Fair Employment Mark
The Inclusive Command Voluntary Integration of the US Military
The Informed Association Statute and the Boy Scouts of America
Renounce or Share?
Working with Organizations Advocating Gay Rights

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About the author (2005)

Ian Ayres is the William K. Townsend Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He is a columnist for Forbes magazine and radio commentator on Marketplace. He is the coauthor of Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small and Pervasive Prejudice? Non-Traditional Evidence of Race and Gender Discrimination. Jennifer Gerarda Brown is Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University School of Law, and a Visiting Lecturer and Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School.

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