This essay reviews four books on the role of religion in shaping state policy, political rhetoric, and activism for and against same-sex rights in the United States. These books are instructive in thinking through relations between race and religion, sexuality and race, religion and rights, freedom and democracy, public and private, church and state. They show that the boundaries between church and state, public and private, identity and rights, race, sexuality, and religion are not as clear as they might seem. The solutions they offer push far past demands for identity-based rights. Indeed, all of them explore how identity is problematically tied up with religion, in ways that facilitate the limitation rather than expansion of rights. Together they outline a queer activist agenda.

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