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After the Wrath of GodAIDS, Sexuality, and American Religion$
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Anthony M. Petro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199391288

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199391288.001.0001

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Protest Religion!

Protest Religion!

act up, religious freedom, and the ethics of sex

(p.137) Chapter Four Protest Religion!
After the Wrath of God

Anthony M. Petro

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Stop the Church movement, orchestrated by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP. Stop the Church culminated in a nationally publicized protest in 1989 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the seat of power of Cardinal John O’Connor. Protesting the Catholic Church’s stance on condoms, gay rights, and abortion, ACT UP members offered an alternative political and moral vision that called for sexual freedom. In doing so, they sought to limit the role of conservative religious leaders in debates about public health and HIV prevention, while simultaneously challenging the very terms of “religion” itself, often reclaiming it for their own needs.

Keywords:   AIDS activism, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, social movements, religious freedom, sexual freedom

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