Focusing on three disparate policy areas—workplace sexual harassment, playground safety, and police brutality in both the United States and the United Kingdom—Epp explains how activists and professionals used legal liability, lawsuit-generated publicity, and innovative managerial ideas to pursue the implementation of new rights. Together, these strategies resulted in frameworks designed to make institutions accountable through intricate rules, employee training, and managerial oversight. Explaining how these practices became ubiquitous across bureaucratic organizations, Epp casts today’s legalistic state in an entirely new light.
However, he also discovers that there are limits to where and when LGBT candidates can run for office and that, while their presence in office often enhances policy representation, it can also create backlash. But even with some of these negative consequences, Out and Running provides compelling evidence that gays and lesbians are more likely to see beneficial legislation pass by increasing the number of LGBT state legislators. Indeed, grassroots politics in the states may allow the LGBT community its best opportunity for achieving its policy goals.