About the Book

The Lesbian and Gay Movements

The Lesbian and Gay Movements

Assimilation or Liberation?
December 2007
Trade Paperback · 216 Pages
$34.00 U.S. · $39.50 CAN · £22.99 U.K. · €24.99 E.U.
ISBN 9780813340548
Westview Press
Dilemmas in American Politics


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Throughout their relatively short history, the lesbian and gay movements in the United States have endured searing conflicts over whether to embrace assimilationist or liberationist strategies. This new book explores this dilemma in both contemporary and historical contexts, describing the sources of these conflicts, to what extent the conflicts have been resolved, and how they might be resolved in future.

The text also tackles the challenging issue of what constitutes movement “effectiveness” and how “effective” the assimilationist and liberationist strategies have been in three contentious policy arenas: the military ban, same-sex marriage, and AIDS. Considerable attention is devoted to how policy elites—most notably Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton; Congress; and the Supreme Court—have responded to the movements’ grievances. The book examines the George W. Bush presidency with an eye to assessing how political opportunities have informed the broader lesbian and gay movements’ strategies, and also details the response of the Christian Right to the movements’ various assimilationist and liberationist strategies.

A Choice Oustanding Academic Title 2008

About the Author

Craig A. Rimmerman is professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is the editor of Westview Press's Dilemmas in American Politics series. He is also author of Presidency by Plebiscite: The Reagan-Bush Era in Institutional Perspective, and co-editor with Kenneth A. Wald and Clyde Wilcox of The Politics of Gay Rights.