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Beyond Backlash: Assessing the Impact of Judicial Decisions on LGBT Rights

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Abstract:

This article evaluates the widespread scholarly claim that the courtroom victories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights movement have invariably provoked a counterproductive political backlash. Those victories have indeed provoked conservative countermobilization, but that has not been their only or even their most prominent effect. Assessing the political reaction to the movement's judicial victories, the policy impact of those victories, and the alternative strategic paths that were available to the movement at the outset, I argue that here, as elsewhere, legal mobilization has sometimes been a promising avenue for pursuing policy changes whose prospects were otherwise quite limited.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5893.2009.00370.x

Affiliations: Syracuse University

Publication date: 2009-03-01

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