Sexual Orientation and the Law
This seminar focuses on how the law addresses many of the most contested contemporary issues concerning sexual orientation. It approaches the material as an exercise in advanced constitutional law, exploring how courts have used or might use federal or state constitutional provisions to address issues regarding the criminalization of sodomy, anti-gay rights initiatives, the Boy Scouts, military recruiting on campus, gays in the military, and the marriage and parenting rights of same-sex couples. Special attention is paid to the unfolding debate on same-sex marriage as a case study on the contested role of courts as engines of social change. The class maintains an interdisciplinary focus throughout as it looks at how social, cultural, and political forces shape, and are shaped by, legal doctrine.