Gay Rights
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This guide is designed to help you research information about gay rights. It includes an index of scholarly sources that should be used. Included in the list are websites and search engines that will be helpful in your research. If you have any trouble finding these sources, please ask a librarian for help. Good Luck! Any comments or suggestions are welcome!
  • RCC Library Home Page: Most materials found in this research guide are available at the library's home page.
  • : Please contact me if you have any questions concerning this guide or research.


The on-line catalog provides access to the Library's collection of approximately 40,000 books, periodicals and audio-visual titles. These resources may be used to find information for assignments or general interest.
Tutorial for searching catalog and ordering books from Metro Boston Library Network (includes Boston Public Library)

Helpful Search Terms:

  • civil unions
  • domestic partnership
  • gay couples
  • gay rights
  • homosexuality
  • homosexuality and discrimination
  • same-gender relationships
  • same-sex marriage

Meem, Deborah T. Finding Out: an Introduction to LGBT Studies.
Call Number: HQ76.25 .M45 2014

Haugen, David. Homosexuality.
Call Number: HQ75.15 .H66 2013

Rosenthal, Beth. Gay Parenting. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013.
Call Number: HQ75.27 .G397 2013

Hall, David. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013.
Call Number: HQ734 .T226 2013

Ball M., Carlos A. The Right to be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood. New York: New York University Press, 2012.
Call Number: KF540 .B35 2012


McKee, Ryan W. and Taverner, William J. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Human Sexuality. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Call Number: HQ18.U5 T35 2010

Ball, Carlos. From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits that Have Changed Our Nation. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010.
Call Number: KF4754.5.A53 B35 2010

Mezey, S.G. Lanham. Gay Families and the Courts: The Quest for Equal Rights, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009.
Call Number: KF4754.5 .M49 2009

Stern, Keith. Queers in History: the Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgenders. Dallas: BenBella: 2009.
Call Number: HQ75.13 .S74 2009

Brewer, Paul Ryan. Value War: Public Opinion and the Politics of Gay Rights. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008.
Call Number: HQ76.8.U5 B74 2008

Polikoff, Nancy. Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families Under the Law. Boston: Beacon Press, 2008.
Call Number: KF538 .P65 2008

Pinello, D. America's Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Call Number: HQ1034.U5 P55 2006


Hudson, D. Gay Rights. PA: Chelsea House, 2005.
Call Number: KF4754.5.H83 2005

Schroeder, E. Taking Sides. Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Family and Personal Relationships. IA: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2005.
Call Number: HQ536.T35 2005

Cantú, Lionel, Jr and Luibhéid, Eithne. Queer Migrations: Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossings.Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
Call Number: HQ76.3.L29 Q56 2005

Moats, D. Civil Rights: a Battle for Gay Marriage. Orlando: Harcourt, 2004.
Call Number: HQ1034.U5 M62 2004

Chauncey, George. Why Marriage?: the History Shaping Today's Debate Over Gay Equality. New York: Basic Books, 2004.
Call Number: HQ76.8 .U5 C43 2004


Rauch, J. Gay Marriage: Why it is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America. New York: Times Books/Henry Holt & Co., 2004.
Call Number: HQ1034.U5 R38 2004


Crimmins, C. How the Homosexuals Saved Civilization: the True and Heroic Story of how Gay Men Shaped the Modern World. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2004.
Call Number: HQ76.C74 2004

Mello, M. Legalizing Gay Marriage. PA: Temple University Press, 2004.
Call Number: HQ1034.U5 M45 2004

Reference Books

Books annotated with REF are located on the 2nd floor of the Library and are for in-Library use only.
Stewart, C. Gay and Lesbian Issues: a Reference Handbook. CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.
Call Number: REF HQ76.25.S748 2003

Newton, David E. Gay and Lesbian Rights: a Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2009.
Call Number: REF HQ76.3.U5 N48 2009


Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage

Same Sex, Different Politics: Success and Failure in the Struggles over Gay Rights

Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice

Out of the Closets & into the Courts: Legal Opportunity Structure and Gay Rights Litigation

long arc.jpg
The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality, and Rights

Changing Corporate America from the Inside Out: Lesbian and Gay Workplace Rights, Volume 20

Sam-Sex Marriage: the Personal and the Political

Irreconcilable Differences?:Intellectual Stalemate in the Gay Rights Debate


Browse these paper journals and magazines in the library's first floor periodicals section for articles about gay rights.
  • Newsweek
  • Time


Reporter Zero. Lozano, C. University of California, Berkeley, 2009. PN4874. S475 R47 2009

Streaming Video

Films on Demand

Gay Rights, Marriage and the Supreme Court

Ten More Good Years: Senior Citizens in the Battle for LGBT Rights


Access to millions of journal, magazine, newspaper and reference source articles through our research databases.

Academic Search Premier

Provides full text for more than 3,800 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including over 254 full-text articles mentioning "gay rights" and over 400 mentioning "same-sex marriage."

Academic OneFile

Provides full text for more than 3,800 scholarly publications covering academic areas of study including over 400 full-text articles mentioning "gay rights" and over 100 mentioning "same-sex marriage."

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center

Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is a one-stop source for information on today's hottest social issues. Drawing on acclaimed series published by Greenhaven Press and other Gale imprints, OVRC features viewpoint articles, topic overviews, full-text magazine, academic journal, and newspaper articles, primary source documents, statistics, images and podcasts, and links to Websites.

World News Digest

This database finds full-text articles in the US and World News from 1940 through the present day. Same-sex marriage is a pre-selected research topic in World News Digest. To find pre-selected articles, under the tab "Need a Research Topic," choose and click on "same-sex marriage" - there are 100s of articles on gay rights and same-sex marriage, including a breakdown of marriage laws by state.

Web sites

There are many helpful web sites about abortion. The web sites listed below have been evaluated by library staff. Remember to always evaluate internet resources. To find out more about evaluating web sites, Cornell University has an informative guide.

Search Engines


Gay Rights

Gay Rights Advocacy Groups

  • American Civil Liberties Union: Lesbian & Gay Rights, Relationships (ACLU) The LGBT project of the ACLU moves public opinion on rights through the courts, legislatures and public education; this site includes legal documents from key court cases and both state and federal legislation on gay rights.
  • Freedom to Marry A gay and non-gay partnership working to promote marriage equality nationwide; this site includes facts and legislation on key states and gay rights, as well as media coverage of gay and lesbian issues and testimonies of same-sex couples.
  • Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA) America's oldest organization devoted to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights; this site includes links to current news stories, as well as coverage of state and federal legislation on gay rights and testimonies of same-sex couples.
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Formed in 1985, this group works to promote fair and accurate representation of people and events in the media; this site includes current news stories and resources to advocate for inclusiveness in media broadcasting.
  • Human Rights Campaign The largest organization devoted to equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, the HRC advocates and mobilizes grassroots organizations in communities and works to educate the public about LGBT issues; this site includes links to current news stories, as well as coverage of state and federal legislation on gay rights in many aspects of society.

Gay Rights, Marriage, and Massachusetts

Gay Rights and Public Opinion

Gay Rights and Religious Organizations

  • American Family Association A Christian organization that promotes Christian values and public policy goals, including the reaffirmation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman; this site includes free access to the AFA online journal and full-text articles, current news articles and media coverage, state and federal legislation on same-sex marriage, as well as streaming video of lectures sponsored by
  • Focus on the Family A Christian organization focusing on Christian ministry and values, in relation to all aspects of life and society, including same-sex marriage; this site includes resources and media that promote the reaffirmation of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
  • Marriage WatchThe Marriage Law Project at the Catholic University of America isa public interest legal assistance program that seeks to reaffirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman through participation in key court cases and the sponsorship of research; this site includes legal documents from key court cases and both state and federal legislation on same-sex marriage, as well as a "Marriage Document Database" that includes many free, full-text articles.
  • The Heritage Foundation This foundation is a public policy research institute with a mission to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on traditional American values. The site includes reports, fact sheets, commentaries, testimonies, lectures and multimedia.

Open Access journals

Sponsored by the Australian Psychological Society (APS), this peer-reviewed journal includes free, scholarly articles that discuss and challenge the stereotypes and assumptions about lesbians and gay men.

Citing Sources: Style Guides

APA Style TutorialDuke Library Guide to Assembling a List of Works CitedLaguardia Community College Library MLA and APA citation style
SourceAid- Citation BuilderThe Owl at Purdue: APA Formatting and Style GuideThe Owl at Purdue: MLA 2009 Formatting and Style Guide

Basic Research Help

Please click the Ask a Librarian icon if you have any questions concerning these guides, need help finding material for your research or any general questions you might have.

General Library Information

Research guide prepared on 06/12/2009 by Gena Pliakas and Kathleen Keleher. Updated by Katharine Dunn on 6/14/10. Updated by Mallory Wilson on 6/19/13.