Well, maybe not the best book from an objective point of view, but from where I am standing, the arrival of my very own copy of this book is pretty amazing.
I just got my advance copy of How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism. It is an analysis of the complex dynamics of opposing movements, wrapped in a fascinating historical account of the lesbian and gay movement and the religious right. It gave me chills (who knew that writing a book was so similar to influenza?) to see it, all printed up with pretty fonts and a cover and my name right there on the front (and the back! and the spine!).
I guess it’s just one sort of thing to be writing a book, and writing, and writing. Still writing that book, Tina? Yes indeed, still writing. Is that the same book you were writing last year? Yes, yes it is. And it’s a whole different sort of thing to have written a book. I have to say that I prefer the latter. On top of that, I think it turned out to be pretty good, if I do say so myself.
From the back cover:
While gay rights are on the national agenda now, activists have spent decades fighting for their platform, seeing themselves as the David to the religious right’s Goliath. At the same time, the religious right has continuously and effectively opposed the efforts of lesbian and gay activists, working to repeal many of the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and to progress a constitutional amendment “protecting” marriage.
In this accessible and grounded work, Tina Fetner uncovers a surprisingly complex relationship between the two movements–one that transcends political rivalry. Fetner shows how gay activists and the religious right have established in effect a symbiotic relationship in which each side significantly affects the evolution of its counterpart. As lesbian and gay activists demand an end to prejudice, inclusion in marriage, the right to serve in the military, and full citizenship regardless of sexual orientation, the religious right has responded with anti-gay planks in Republican party platforms and the blocking of social and political change efforts. Fetner examines how the lesbian and gay movement responds to opposition by changing rhetoric, tone, and tactics and reveals how this connection has influenced—and made more effective—the evolution of gay activism in the United States.
Fetner addresses debates that lie at the center of the culture wars and, ultimately, she demonstrates how the contentious relationship between gay and lesbian rights activists and the religious right—a dynamic that is surprisingly necessary to both—challenges assumptions about how social movements are significantly shaped by their rivals.
Don’t you just want to drop by the University of Minnesota Press booth at the ASA book exhibit and pick up a copy? Apparently, there will even be a poster there to remind you that this is the book you wanted.