Rainbows for Rights: The Role of LGBT Activism in Gay Rights Promotion
Are advocacy efforts successful in improving the de jure rights of sexual minorities? In this paper, we argue that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights NGO movement has been a powerful force in the struggle against sexual discrimination. However, the work of LGBT organizations is much harder in areas of the world where pre-existing public attitudes are not supportive of the rights in question. By focusing on the issue of sexual minority rights, we are able to see how underlying public attitude divergence on a human rights issue can influence advocacy success. We test the implications of our argument cross-nationally using new data on over 4,000 organizations from 1990 to 2011.