This chapter introduces the overall goal for the book—to explore the potential for low-visibility advocacy strategies to minimize backlash against unpopular civil rights efforts. Specifically, the chapter provides a glimpse of two case study pairings that help illuminate how low-visibility strategies have been devised and employed to neutralize the opposition. Where calls for same-sex marriage were met with clear recriminations from conservative voters and “pro-family” groups, demands from lesbian and gay couples to have co-parenting privileges have been far less politically contested. Similarly, while some group home providers lose their fight to secure single-family housing for their residents with disabilities because of neighborhood opposition, others are able to achieve their housing goals. Evidence suggests that LGBT parenting and group home advocates deliberately downplayed or disguised their efforts in order to minimize public reaction.
Keywords: backlash, legal, same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, group home, disability, lesbian or gay rights, visibility, subterranean, deliberation