Gay Politics in the Early Clinton Years
Chapter 5 begins the book’s examination of mass opinion change by first looking at the effects of Clinton’s endorsement of gay rights in 1992 and the 1993 gays-in-the-military debate. Using the American National Election Study, a small movement of Democrats in the public appear to have shifted more liberal on gay rights in 1992, but the magnitude of the effect was small. Likewise, the 1993 gays-in-the-military debate only resulted in polarization along political lines, not liberalization. However, declining fear of AIDS in the mid-1990s appear to have caused some attitude change. This leads to the conclusion that media coverage of gay rights in 1992 and 1993 only moved public opinion in a relatively minor fashion.
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