"Located in a vast, sparsely populated region of the Pacific Northwest, "Timbertown" was once a stable and prosperous working-class community, a live-and-let-live kind of place. But in the 1980s, as its timber-based economy withered, evangelical Christianity bloomed, until, in the words of one resident, it had become a town "with more churches than bars." Then, in the early 1990s, a Christian conservative organization convinced many citizens that lesbians and gay men were taking over the town. Given Timbertown's few visible signs of queer life, the sudden fear that homosexuals were being accorded "special rights" was almost as puzzling as it was disturbing. But soon fistfights - over race as well as sexuality - were erupting in the high school, long-standing friendships were ending in acrimony, and the local newspaper, normally preoccupied with the timber industry and Little League scores, was reporting on little else." "In a book that combines on-the-ground research and lucid analysis with a novelist's imaginative sympathy, Arlene Stein sets out to discover why some social differences that are submerged and unremarkable suddenly become sources of division and, potentially, violence. Along the way she paints a portrait of the current issues facing working families and the human anxieties behind the culture wars."--BOOK JACKET.