We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Out and Running

Gay and Lesbian Candidates, Elections, and Policy Representation

Donald P. Haider-Markel

Publication Year: 2010

Out and Running is the first systematic analysis of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) political representation that explores the dynamics of state legislative campaigns and the influence of lesbian and gay legislators in the state policymaking process. By examining state legislative elections from 1992 to 2006 and state policymaking from 1992 to 2009, Donald Haider-Markel suggests that the LGBT community can overcome hurdles and win elections; and, once in office, these officials can play a critical role in the policy representation of the community.

However, he also discovers that there are limits to where and when LGBT candidates can run for office and that, while their presence in office often enhances policy representation, it can also create backlash. But even with some of these negative consequences, Out and Running provides compelling evidence that gays and lesbians are more likely to see beneficial legislation pass by increasing the number of LGBT state legislators. Indeed, grassroots politics in the states may allow the LGBT community its best opportunity for achieving its policy goals.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: American Governance and Public Policy series


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-7

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-xii

In 1977 Harvey Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Although he was not the first lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgenderperson elected to a government office in the country, he was the first LGBT personelected in San Francisco. (Throughout this book I use the term ‘‘LGBT’’ to beinclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. However, the vastmajority of LGBT candidates and elected officials are gay or lesbian, and my conclu-...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xiii-xiii

As with most book projects, this one is a long time coming. I began to collect some of the data analyzed here more than fifteen years ago in the early years of my graduate training. Nevertheless, this project would not have been possible without the support and assistance of many people and organizations. First and foremost, this project was funded in large part by a 2003 Wayne F. Placek Award from the American Psychological Foundation. A number of students assisted...

read more

1 Political Representation and a Brief History of the American LGBT Movement

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-32

Attempts by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to gain political representation have evolved out of the LGBT movement’s goal of achieving equality in American society and politics. This evolution is similar to that followed by other historically marginalized groups in American politics, such ...

read more

2 See How They Run: Voter Preferences and Candidates’ Experiences with the Role of Sexual Orientation in State Elections

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 33-65

Like other groups, the LGBT community can try to achieve political representation by electing openly LGBT candidates to public office, ensuring that LGBT people are appointed to official positions, or by influencing the behavior of sympathetic heterosexual and closeted homosexual officials. However, ...

read more

3 Assessing the Role of Sexual Orientation in Elections: LGBT State Legislative Candidates, 1992–2006

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 66-83

On the basis of the discussion and analysis presented in chapter 2, we can now move to a systematic analysis of how a candidate’s sexual orientation influences state legislative election outcomes. Although much of the (especially early) research on female and minority candidates would suggest that LGBT candidates are likely to receive less support than their heterosexual counter-parts, the conclusions in chapter 2 indicate that if LGBT candidates are strategic,...

read more

4 In the Legislature: Case Studies on Political Representation and LGBT State Legislators

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 84-117

As the quotations above make clear, LGBT legislators believe that increased descriptive representation has a real and enduring impact on the policy process in the policymaking process. And at least some LGBT legislators believe that they play a special role in advocating for the interests of the LGBT...

read more

5 Translating Descriptive Representation into Substantive Representation

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 118-128

In this chapter I build on the analysis presented in chapter 4 by systematically exploring whether the presence of LGBT state legislators produces substantive representation in state legislatures. The evidence from chapter 4 suggests that even though LGBT legislators hold a small percentage of state legislative seats,...

read more

6 Descriptive Representation and Backlash

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 129-147

The results analyzed in chapters 4 and 5 clearly indicate that increased LGBT descriptive representation is associated with increased substantive representation. This conclusion is consistent with a considerable amount of research on ethnic and racial minorities as well as women in elected...

read more

7 Conclusion: Out for Good

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 148-157

As the American LGBT movement has expanded and matured, its policy successes have grown as well. However, as other political movements and groups have recognized, having friends at the table may not be quite the same thing as having one of your own at the table. But even with this intuitive logic, ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 159-161


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 163-180


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 181-188

E-ISBN-13: 9781589016149
E-ISBN-10: 1589016149
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589016996
Print-ISBN-10: 1589016998

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: American Governance and Public Policy series
Series Editor Byline: Gerard W. Boychuk, Karen Mossberger, and Mark C. Rom, Series Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 659500404
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Out and Running

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Gays -- Political activity -- United States
  • Gay politicians -- United States.
  • Political campaigns -- United States.
  • Elections -- United States.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access