Freedom to Differ: The Shaping of the Gay and Lesbian Struggle for Civil Rights

NYU Press
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Many of us have grown up with the language of civil rights, yet rarely consider how the construction of civil rights claims affects those who are trying to attain them. Diane Miller examines arguments lesbians and gay men make for civil rights, revealing the ways these arguments are both progressive--in terms of helping to win court cases seeking basic human rights--and limiting--in terms of framing representations of gay men and lesbians.
Miller incorporates case studies of lesbians in the military and in politics into her argument. She discusses in detail the experiences of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer, who was dishonorably discharged from the National Guard after 27 years of service when she revealed that she was a lesbian, and Roberta Achtenberg, who was nominated by Clinton for the job of Assistant Director of Housing and Urban Development and became the first gay or lesbian to face the confirmation process. Drawing on these cases and their outcomes, Miller evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of privileging civil rights strategies in the struggle for gay and lesbian rights.
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About the author

Diane Helene Miller received her Ph.D. in Speech Communication and a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies from the University of Georgia. She has served as the Director of the Writing and Communication Center at East Tennessee University and is currently a writer living in Athens, Georgia.

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Additional Information

Publisher
NYU Press
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Published on
Aug 1, 1998
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Pages
212
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ISBN
9780814761007
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Seeking Rights from the Left offers a unique comparative assessment of left-leaning Latin American governments by examining their engagement with feminist, women's, and LGBT movements and issues. Focusing on the “Pink Tide” in eight national cases—Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Uruguay, and Venezuela—the contributors evaluate how the Left addressed gender- and sexuality-based rights through the state. Most of these governments improved the basic conditions of poor women and their families. Many significantly advanced women's representation in national legislatures. Some legalized same-sex relationships and enabled their citizens to claim their own gender identity. They also opened opportunities for feminist and LGBT movements to press forward their demands. But at the same time, these governments have largely relied on heteropatriarchal relations of power, ignoring or rejecting the more challenging elements of a social agenda and engaging in strategic trade-offs among gender and sexual rights. Moreover, the comparative examination of such rights arenas reveals that the Left's more general political and economic projects have been profoundly, if at times unintentionally, informed by traditional understandings of gender and sexuality.

Contributors: Sonia E. Alvarez, María Constanza Diaz, Rachel Elfenbein, Elisabeth Jay Friedman, Niki Johnson, Victoria Keller, Edurne Larracoechea Bohigas, Amy Lind, Marlise Matos, Shawnna Mullenax, Ana Laura Rodríguez Gustá, Diego Sempol, Constanza Tabbush, Gwynn Thomas, Catalina Trebisacce, Annie Wilkinson 
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