Beyond Backlash: Assessing the Impact of Judicial Decisions on LGBT Rights
Law and Society Review, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 151, March 2009
36 Pages Posted: 18 May 2011
Date Written: January 2, 2009
This article evaluates the widespread scholarly claim that the courtroom victories of the LGBT rights movement have invariably provoked a counterproductive political backlash. Those victories have indeed provoked conservative counter-mobilization, 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.
Keywords: legal mobilization, gay rights, LGBT rights, judicial impact
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