Since mid-2003, Americans have been inundated with images and claims about same-sex marriage. In the wake of the June 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down archaic sex laws and the Ontario high court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, the U.S. antigay movement seized on many Americans' discomfort with homosexuality in an attempt to make marriage equality for same-sex couples a major political issue in the 2004 elections. Although antigay bias has a long history in the United States, it is a mistake to understand it solely as a relic of our traditional past; in fact, antigay bias is amplified, mobilized, and deployed by the antigay movement for specific political objectives.
This chapter examines the anti–gay marriage movement in the United States and its role in electoral politics. The Christian Right—a political alliance of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman