On the Fringe
Publisher Cornell Univeristy Press

On the Fringe

Explores the standing of lesbians and gays, and of the issues they were championing, in the mainstream politics of Britain, Canada, and the United States during the early-to-mid-1990s. It uses two sets of case studies for this analysis. The first is the complex and sometimes-conflicting roles of openly-gay politicians (Svend Robinson in Canada, Chris Smith in Britain, Barney Frank in the U.S.). The second is a set of issues that reached the legislative arena during this period - the age of consent for sexual activity in Britain, the right of lesbians and gays to serve openly in the U.S. military, and the recognition of same-sex relationships in Ontario.




  • 1. Promoting Heterosexuality in the Thatcher Years
  • 2. Activist Openings on the Age of Consent
  • 3. The Parliamentary Ascent of Chris Smith


  • 4. The Canadian Human Rights Act and Liberal Party Pragmatism
  • 5. The Fight for Relationship Recognition in Ontario
  • 6. The Activist Roles of Svend Robinson

United States

  • 7. The Military Ban and the Perils of Congressional Politics
  • 8. Barney Frank and the Art of the Possible
  • 9. The Inescapable Allure of the American Mainstream