Michael C. Dorf (email@example.com) is Robert Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School.
Strange Bedfellows: How an Anticipatory Countermovement Brought Same-Sex Marriage into the Public Arena
Article first published online: 17 APR 2014
© 2014 American Bar Foundation
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 449–473, Spring 2014
How to Cite
Dorf, M. C. and Tarrow, S. (2014), Strange Bedfellows: How an Anticipatory Countermovement Brought Same-Sex Marriage into the Public Arena. Law & Social Inquiry, 39: 449–473. doi: 10.1111/lsi.12069
The authors are listed alphabetically and all parts of the article and the research represent the work of both authors. The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of ten anonymous leaders of the LGBT rights movement interviewed for this article, as well as the research assistance of Ashley McGovern, Chan S. Suh, and Matthew Tymann. Cornell University's Office of Research Integrity and Assurance certified that the research for this article was exempt from IRB review.
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 17 APR 2014
Since the 1980s, social movement scholars have investigated the dynamic of movement/countermovement interaction. Most of these studies posit movements as initiators, with countermovements reacting to their challenges. Yet sometimes a movement supports an agenda in response to a countermovement that engages in what we call “anticipatory countermobilization.” We interviewed ten leading LGBT activists to explore the hypothesis that the LGBT movement was brought to the fight for marriage equality by the anticipatory countermobilization of social conservatives who opposed same-sex marriage before there was a realistic prospect that it would be recognized by the courts or political actors. Our findings reinforce the existing scholarship, but also go beyond it in emphasizing a triangular relationship among social movement organizations, countermovement organizations, and grassroots supporters of same-sex marriage. More broadly, the evidence suggests the need for a more reciprocal understanding of the relations among movements, countermovements, and sociolegal change.