Lesbian and gay citizens today enjoy a much broader array of rights and obligations and a greater ability to live their lives openly in both the U.S. and Canada. However, while human rights protections have been exponentially expanded in Canada over the last twenty years, even basic protections in areas such as employment discrimination are still unavailable to many in the United States. This book examines why these similar societies have produced such divergent policy outcomes, focusing on how differences between the political institutions of the U.S. and Canada have shaped the terrain of social movement and counter-movement mobilization. It analyzes cross-national variance in public policies toward lesbians and gay men, especially in the areas of the decriminalization of sodomy, the passage of anti-discrimination laws, and the enactment of measures to recognize same-sex relationships. For political science, sociology, and queer studies alike, this book will prove vital as movements for lesbian and gay rights continue to recast the social landscape in North America and beyond.