Advocacy Beyond Identity

A Dutch Gay/Lesbian Organization’s Embrace of a Public Policy Strategy

The gay/lesbian social movement has primarily been understood as an identity movement. This article contributes to expanding understandings of the gay/lesbian movement by following the advocacy of the Dutch Association for the Integration of Homosexuality COC (COC) as a case of a gay/lesbian movement organization’s expansion of its action repertoire to include public policy goals. On the basis of archival and interview data, this article identifies several factors that enabled the COC to see the Dutch government as a potential public policy partner. Previous legal successes and facilitation by the institutionalized wing of the women’s movement, coupled with a constitutional change, resulted in the COC’s development of a policy strategy. By tracing the history of the COC’s strategic interactions, this article demonstrates that, while an identity strategy was constant throughout the COC’s advocacy, the organization could combine an identity strategy with strategies of legal change, cultural change, and public policy.

Robert J. Davidson (2020) Advocacy Beyond Identity: A Dutch Gay/Lesbian Organization’s Embrace of a Public Policy Strategy, Journal of Homosexuality, 67:1, 35-57

DOI: 10.1080/00918369.2018.1525944

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