In Value War: Public Opinion and the Politics of Gay Rights, Paul R. Brewer looks at how the public debate about gay rights has shaped public opinion and conversely how public opinion has shaped the public debate about gay rights. Using a variety of methods, including polls, experimentation, and content analysis, he shows how the nature of public debate_which encompasses news stories, television sitcoms, presidential speeches, and sermons by local clergy_has influenced what and how Americans think about gay rights. He also shows how public opinion has created opportunities and obstacles for foes and advocates of gay rights by defining the very terms and boundaries of the public debate. Brewer's analysis not only sheds new light on how the politics of gay rights has evolved in recent years and may evolve in the future, it also illuminates the broader tensions in American politics, from the culture war over social issues to the struggle over civil rights.
Paul R. Brewer is associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Chapter 1 1. Introduction Chapter 2 2. Public Opinion about Gay Rights Chapter 3 3. Whose Rights? Public Opinion about Gays, Lesbians, and Homosexuality Chapter 4 4. From the Podium and the Pulpit: Opinion Leadership and Gay Rights Chapter 5 5. Using Values to Frame Gay Rights: Traditional Morals, Equal Rights, or Special Rights? Chapter 6 6. The Foundations of Opinion about Gay Rights: Changes over Time, Differences across Contexts Chapter 7 7. The Meanings of Public Opinion about Gay Rights Chapter 8 Appendix A: The Pooled 2003-2004 Pew Research Center Surveys Chapter 9 Appendix B: The 1993 ANES Pilot Study and the 2003 October Pew Survey Chapter 10 Appendix C: Content Analysis Procedure Chapter 11 Appendix D: The 1999 Experiment Chapter 12 Appendix E: The 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 American National Election Studies Chapter 13 Bibliography Chapter 14 Index