The Politics of Gay Rights

Title: The Politics of Gay Rights
Editors: Craig Rimmerman, Kenneth Wald, and Clyde Wilcox
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press
Year: 2000

Available: and

Minority groups tend to feel politically isolated and powerless. Members of sexual minority groups are often invisible. Due to concerns related to prejudice, discrimination, economic oppression, rejection, or gay bashing, sexual minorities may feel it is necessary to be very discrete and closeted. This renders gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people politically disenfranchised, politically powerless, and politically frustrated in ways unknown to most other minority groups. For sexual minority groups to receive equal human rights and to address homophobia, they need to understand how to effectively utilize the political system.

Some books document the history of the gay rights movement. While those books can be very interesting, they rarely provide the level of analysis needed to understand how to use the political system. This book provides more than just a historical account of the progression of American gay rights. The Politics of Gay Rights focuses on the politics of the movement. The strategies of those promoting, as well as those opposing gay rights, are discussed, and analyzed. This book provides a lot of valuable information for queer rights activists.

The Politics of Gay Rights is an academic book. People wanting to hear the reflections of those who battled on the front-lines of of the gay rights movement will be disappointed by the book. Instead of hearing stories from the unsung heroes of gay rights, we read about the politics of the gay rights movement. A variety of articles, by different authors, using different strategies, discuss the gay rights political movement.

Because the book is now ten years old, a revised edition is needed. We need to critically evaluate more recent successes and failures of the gay rights movement.