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Below the RadarHow Silence Can Save Civil Rights$

Alison L. Gash

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190201159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190201159.001.0001

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(p.207) Appendix A Interviews

(p.207) Appendix A Interviews

Source:
Below the Radar
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

Forty interviews were conducted in the course of this project between 2007 and 2012. These interviews consisted of two-to-three hour conversations (sometimes over the phone but mostly in-person) with lawyers and policy advocates working for lesbian or gay parents and group home residents or their opponents. I also interviewed consultants and scholars. I used snowball sampling to identify the pool of potential interviewees. Through this technique a small sample of participants were identified through content analysis of salient legal cases or news stories. Each of these interviewees was asked to provide a list of additional interviewees. This process was repeated until the lists provided began to overlap. At the point of overlap, the moment at which most of the individuals mentioned had been contacted and had either agreed to participate or were unable to sit for an interview, I ceased the interview process.

The marriage advocates I spoke with represent both national and local organizations.

Most often the individuals I interviewed were either the executive directors or the legal directors of their organizations. The parenting advocates I interviewed were similarly dispersed. I interviewed executive, legal, and programmatic directors of national organizations dedicated to LGBT family issues and a range of local (often solo) attorneys working on behalf of lesbian and gay parents. I went to great lengths to interview individuals working on behalf of clients in states with marriage equality and those in states with restrictive marriage and parenting laws. I was very lucky to have spoken to a number of advocates working in states with deeply draconian parenting laws.

The group home community is far more decentralized and scattered than the LGBT advocacy community. I was able to identify, through snowball sampling, the key legal advocates and pioneers—some of whom have a local presence and others who work for elite national organizations or government agencies. I attempted to vary the population of group home advocate interviewees based on their commitment to low (p.208) or high visibility advocacy. Included in the sample are scholars and advocates who are considered leaders of the collaborative approach and others who have led the charge for secrecy. There are also quite a few who will consider either approach depending on the context for their siting. I also varied the interviewees based on the demographics of their clients. Included in the mix were advocates who worked on behalf of individuals with substance addiction, those with developmental disabilities and individuals with a physical or mental disability.

Federal law concerning the use of “human subjects” in social science research stipulates that the names and identifying features of the individuals who participated in this project remain anonymous. Given the sensitive nature of the topic, many of the advocates interviewed would not have been so candid about their strategies or perspectives without the guarantee of privacy. Below is a list of the general characteristics of those who were included.

Interview 1

Same-sex parenting advocate and scholar

March 2007

Interview 2

High ranking staff in state gay rights organization

March 2007

Interview 3

High ranking staff national anti-gay rights organization

March 2007

Interview 4

Former staff at national gay rights organization; gay rights attorney

April 2007

Interview 5

High ranking staff at national adoption advocacy organization

April 2007

Interview 6

Republican political consultant

March 2007

Interview 7

Gay rights scholar

May 2007

Interview 8

High ranking staff at national gay rights organization

June 2011

Interview 9

High ranking staff at national gay rights/family rights organization

June 2007

Interview 10

Former staff at national gay rights organization

May 2011

Interview 11

East coast same-sex parenting activist

May 2011

Interview 12

East coast same-sex parenting attorney

May 2011

Interview 13

East coast same-sex parenting attorney

May 2011

Interview 14

East coast same-sex parenting scholar and activist

May 2011

Interview 15

Southern same-sex parenting attorney

July 2011

Interview 16

High ranking staff at national gay rights/family rights organization

July 2011

Interview 17

Gay rights scholar

May 2011

Interview 18

West coast parenting attorney

June 2011

Interview 19

Midwest parenting attorney

July 2011

Interview 20

Gay rights scholar

September 2012

Interview 21

Midwest gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 22

West coast gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 23

Midwest gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 24

West coast gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 25

Gay rights scholar

September 2012

Interview 26

West coast gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 27

West coast gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 28

East coast gay rights opponent

May 2012

Interview 29

Staff at national anti-gay rights organization

May 2012

Interview 30

Southern gay rights opponent

June 2012

Interview 31

Department of justice attorney

March 2010

Interview 32

Fair housing attorney

May 2010

Interview 33

Group home scholar

April 2010

Interview 34

Group home operator

March 2010

Interview 35

Disability rights attorney

March 2010

Interview 36

Group home attorney

June 2010

Interview 37

Group home attorney

June 2010

Interview 38

Group home attorney

May 2010

Interview 39

Disability rights attorney

June 2010

Interview 40

Fair housing attorney

March 2010

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