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The Rise of Anti-Gay Right Activism in the u.s.: A Review of Major Sociological Theories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers five major sociological explanations offered to explain current religiously-inspired anti-gay activism, with a focus on the context in which such activism arose and how it is maintained. Religiously-inspired anti-gay activism can be seen as: a defense of the declining prestige of conservative religion; an expression of stores of political resources pooling since the early twentieth century; action motivated by genuine concern about particular social causes; the result of corporate populism, so that the Religious Right serves "as a front for the acquisition of political power by special economic interests"; and finally as a defense "of a culturally coherent life-style and world view". The chapter summarizes and synthesizes major themes in the sociology of religion as they apply to recent trends in the politicization of human sexuality, beginning in 2003, when Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down sodomy laws, was decided and onward.

Keywords: conservative religion; corporate populism; human sexuality; political resources; religiously-inspired anti-gay activism; sociological theories; worldview defense



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