Gambling, Drugs and Gay Marriage: Varied Routes to Decriminalization

John Dombrink, University of California, Irvine

This paper compares the divergent cases of the legal treatment of gambling in the United States over the past 40 years with the stubborn case of drug decriminalization and recent advances in the case of gay marriage. The paper first presents the varying situations of each activity during criminaliation, then describes the variables in the successful (or unsuccessful) efforts for decriminalization of each. Included in this analysis are: the changing basis of public opinion: coalitions, stakeholders, and the role of social movements; and the framing of claims for changes in the law and criminal justice.

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Updated 05/20/2006