Peter Montgomery

Peter Montgomery is a senior fellow at People For the American Way Foundation, where he leads the organization’s research and writing on the Religious Right. Follow him on Twitter: @petemont

Recent Articles

It Didn't Start with Stonewall

A new history deepens our understanding of the origins of the gay rights movement and the transformation it has brought about.

AP Photo/John F. Urwiller
AP Images A demonstration in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall in support of homosexual rights, July 4, 1967. This article appears in the Winter 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine . Subscribe here . The Gay Revolution: The Story of a Struggle By Lillian Faderman Simon & Schuster Lillian Faderman’s The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle begins with the late-1940s story of E.K. Johnston, a beloved professor at the University of Missouri who was considered a likely candidate to take over as college president. But everything changed when his name came up in the kind of police interrogation common in the day: one homosexual bullied into giving names, and those people intimidated into giving more names. On no other evidence, Johnston was arrested, smeared in the media, fired from the university, and threatened with jail. Hoping for mercy, he pleaded guilty, and received a fine and a sentence of four years’ probation. A condition of his probation:...

The Fight for LGBT Equality is Not Over

Indiana's 'religious freedom' law is just one of dozens of state-level bills that could allow LGBT discrimination. 

(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Sometimes you hate to be proven right. In an article in The American Prospect ’s recent winter issue, I wrote that while marriage equality enjoyed some significant victories in 2014, Republicans would likely use their electoral successes that November to push back hard. Under the guise of “religious liberty,” Republican lawmakers at the state level were poised to legalize and protect discrimination against LGBT people in countless ways. And how. Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) may have grabbed the most attention, but it’s just scratching the surface. Republican lawmakers had, as of April 6, introduced more than 100 pieces of anti-LGBT legislation in 29 states, according to Human Rights Campaign, including more than 25 RFRA bills. The bills challenge LGBT rights in adoption and foster care, access to health services, and even in organizing student groups on campus. Trying to keep up with all the action at the state level is a bit like...

What to Do When 'I Do' Is Done

LGBT activists and funders are debating the movement’s post-marriage priorities.

(AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)
Editor's Note: On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. The ruling, by a five-to-four decision, overturns all state-level laws against same-sex marriage and extends marriage equality to all 50 states. Writing in our Winter 2015 issue, below, Peter Montgomery explores the future of the gay rights movement in an era of marriage equality. This article appears in the Winter 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . In the year and a half since the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, federal and state courts have been overturning laws against marriage by same-sex couples at a dizzying pace, sometimes more than once in a single day. Giddy activists have joked about the challenge of keeping color-coded marriage equality maps up-to-date. News stories about gay couples marrying in places like Oklahoma, Utah, South Carolina, and Idaho are...

Watch Party Dispatch: Poets and Pols Gather For Some Pointed Words

In which Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton mingles with constituents and the verse is a bit searing.

Busboys & Poets
Restaurateur Andy Shallal, an Iraqi-American in his 50s, has built a successful set of Busboys & Poets locations known for a diverse crowd, a high-energy vibe, and plenty of poetry and progressive politics. Shallal, who made his own foray into electoral politics this year with an unsuccessful run for the mayor’s office, advertised election-watching opportunities in all the Busboys & Poets sites in Washington, D.C., and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs just outside the city. At the original B&P at 14 th and V Streets, NW—in the historically black U Street neighborhood—the performance room was reserved for an open mic night for area poets, so election watchers gathered around television sets in the bar area. As the returns began rolling in, so did a steady stream of people sporting “I voted” stickers. Most of those I talked to were not feeling optimistic. When Ashley*, who works at the House of Representatives, said she was hopeful about the...

How Did Racist Right-Wing Fantasy Presented as Truth Come to Top the New York Times Bestseller List?

Calling African Americans "culturally backward" and arguing against the public accommodations section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Dinesh D'Souza soars to the top of the chart.

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/
This article originally appeared at Right Wing Watch , the blog of People For the American Way. This week Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her is sitting at the top of the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list . Earlier this month, the movie version crossed the $14 million mark , which moved it into six place overall for earnings by a political “documentary.” But D’Souza is not just out to make money, of course. At a June screening of America , right-wing strategist Ralph Reed called D’Souza “a national treasure for our cause.” D’Souza’s last movie, 2016: Obama’s America , was designed to keep Barack Obama from being re-elected. America is his attempt to prevent Hillary Clinton from being elected in 2016, wrapped in an attack on the progressive movement. At a time when corporate power and profits are at record highs, America the movie argues that America the country is being led down the road to...

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