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e-Research: A Journal of Undergraduate Work

Abstract

Proposition 8 was a California ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in November of 2008. The issue of same-sex marriage is usually framed in the media as a political and cultural battle where the two opposing sides argue about the legal and cultural repercussions of the recognition of same-sex unions for same-sex relationships and society. Rather than focusing on the legal implications of the Proposition 8 campaign and its outcome, this paper addresses the campaign's effects in the LGBT Rights Movement in Orange County. During the campaign many LGBTs became politically active for the first time in their lives, but it was after the passage of Proposition 8 when several LGBT rights organizations were founded and there were a greater number of people who became politically involved. I hypothesize that the Proposition 8 campaign was a socializing process that raised the LGBT community's awareness of social stigma towards the LGBT identity. Political action was a coping mechanism for many LGBTs who saw their actions as means to better their social status. As a result, the campaign shaped the identity and the structure of the LGBT Rights Movement in Orange County.

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