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Antigay Ballot Initiatives (and LGBTQ Activism)

One common tactic of those who oppose LGBTQ rights in the United States is the use of referendum and initiative processes to either pass new antigay laws or rescind existing LGBTQ-positive laws. These antigay ballot initiatives happen at the municipal or state level and have been an effective strategy for the religious Right, as the initiatives are frequently successful. This entry reviews the history of antigay ballot initiatives, the types of measures used, and their effects on the LGBTQ movement and community.

Historical Background

The use of antigay ballot measures in the United States began quietly. In the 1970s, gay, lesbian, and bisexual organizers were quietly passing municipal nondiscrimination ordinances that provided protections in housing, employment, and/or public accommodations based on sexual orientation. Because it was ...

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