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The Presidency of Jimmy Carter and the Emerging Politics of Gay Rights and Evangelical Religion

DOUSEMETZIS, CHARALAMPOS (2018) The Presidency of Jimmy Carter and the Emerging Politics of Gay Rights and Evangelical Religion. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 09 July 2021.

Abstract

This thesis examines an unexplored aspect of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency, and in particular his role in the development and growth of gay rights in the United States. It employs a qualitative approach, drawing extensively on archival and published sources, including a wide range of previously unpublished materials, as well as a series of targeted interviews. It seeks to explore what, if any, contribution Carter made to advancing the rights of homosexuals in the USA.

The primary contribution of this thesis to the literature on Carter is in the area of historical understanding. While much has been written about Carter’s achievements (or lack thereof) in a range of areas, relatively little attention has been paid to the progress made in the area of gay rights at this time. This thesis also makes an important contribution, more generally speaking, in the area of the social history of the modern United States and in exploring the role of interest groups in determining US policy.

Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates that Carter’s legacy in the area of gay rights is much more positive than is generally assumed. The careful exploration of what actually happened during his presidency, and a range of decisions taken and changes made by his administration, reveals a series of fundamental changes that tangibly improved the gay rights situation. The thesis argues that Carter’s legacy in this area should be re-evaluated and given more respect. The decisions he made and the policies he implemented contributed significantly to improving the lives of homosexuals; at the same time he played an important role in changing public discourse about homosexuality in the USA.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Jimmy Carter, gay rights, evangelicals, homosexuality.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Government and International Affairs, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:10 Jul 2018 08:08

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