This paper examines public opinion and media coverage surrounding four important events which affected the development of homosexual rights in Maine in the 1970s: the birth of a homosexual student group on a University of Maine campus and the conference it organized; the adoption of a gay rights plank in the election platform of the state's Democratic Party; revisions to the state's criminal code which decriminalized homosexual activities; and a second conference organized by the student group. Only the first event aroused major public outcry. We describe these events in detail, examine how the media covered them, and analyze why some were more controversial than others. Our analysis shows how differing levels of control over the media affect the rise and resolution of public issues.
Cohn, Steven F. and Gallagher, James E., "Gay Movements and Legal Change: Some Aspects of the Dynamics of a Social Problem" (1984). Sociology School Faculty Scholarship. 13.
Cohn, S., & Gallagher, J. (1984). Gay Movements and Legal Change: Some Aspects of the Dynamics of a Social Problem. Social Problems, 32(1), 72-86. doi:10.2307/800263
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