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Course Descriptions

As of 11/20/2014 5:06:50 AM

SexualOrien/GenderID & the Law

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Law

The struggle for LGBT rights has been variously referred to as the most significant civil rights movement of our time and a fundamental component of equal protection under the Constitution. Initially born of the fight for the right to freely associate and later to do so without fear of arrest, the movement has made extraordinary and consequential advances, in a very short period of time, in both society generally and law: from the early twentieth century to the Stonewall demonstrations in 1969; to US Supreme Court decisions on association and expression, consensual sexual activity, privacy, equal protection, and the family; and most recently to the June 26, 2013 Supreme Court decisions in US v Windsor and Hollingsworth v Perry and resulting federal court decisions overturning state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. At each turn, the movement has been substantially shaped by the law and the efforts to bring about LGBT social and legal change through legislation and litigation.

The seminar will examine sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and the movement for LGBT equality from a legal perspective. We will consider the role of lawyers and legal advocacy, as well as the various legal, social, cultural, political, religious and historical contexts that both produced and resulted from changes to the law. Substantively, these changes include, for example, fundamental rights of association and expression, both generally and in education and employment, due process, equal protection, federalism, evolving notions of the family, marriage and parentage, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and Transgender rights and interests. And procedurally, the changes have come about through legislative act, popular vote, and state and federal court decisions.
 
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