Document Type


Publication Date



The Article examines the impact of social movement activity upon the advancement of GLBT rights. It analyzes the state and local strategy that GLBT social movements utilized to alter the legal status of sexual orientation and sexuality following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick. Successful advocacy before state and local courts, human rights commissions, and legislatures fundamentally shifted public opinion and laws regarding sexual orientation and sexuality between Bowers and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Lawrence v. Texas. This altered landscape created the “political opportunity” for the Lawrence ruling and made the opinion relatively “safe.”

Currently, GLBT rights groups are following a similar strategy with respect to the pursuit of same-sex marriage. This Article evaluates that strategy and considers whether political opportunities for reform in GLBT rights exist on the national stage.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.