The politics of gay and lesbian rights: Expanding the scope of the conflict Academic Article uri icon


  • Morality politics theory predicts that gay rights policy will reflect the influence of religious groups, party competition, and partisanship while interest group theory suggests that these policies will correspond with interest group resources, elite values, and past policy actions. Using multiple regression on a 50-state data set and a county-level data set for gay rights initiatives in Oregon and Colorado, we found gay and lesbian politics are no different from those for other policy issues. When gay and lesbian rights are not salient, the pattern of politics resembles that of interest group politics. If individuals opposed to gay and lesbian rights are able to expand the scope of the conflict, the pattern of politics conforms to morality politics.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • HaiderMarkel, D. P., & Meier, K. J.

citation count

  • 248

complete list of authors

  • HaiderMarkel, DP||Meier, KJ

publication date

  • May 1996