Library Highlights: GLBT Rights


California Supreme Court Oral Arguments: Proposition 8 Same-Sex Marriage March 5, 2009. California. Supreme Court
VIDEO KFC129 .C257 2009
From the Publisher: The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009, in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 (Ban on Same Sex Marriage) , a statewide ballot initiative that was passed by a majority of California voters in November 2008.

When Gay People get Married: What Happens when Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
M.V. Lee Badgett
K699 .B33 2009
From the Publisher: […] In order to find out the impact of same-sex marriage, M. V. Lee Badgett traveled to a land where it has been legal for same-sex couples to marry since 2001: the Netherlands. Badgett interviews gay couples to find out how this step has affected their lives. We learn about the often surprising changes to their relationships, the reactions of their families, and work  colleagues. Moreover, Badgett is interested in the ways that the institution itself has been altered for the larger society. How has the concept of marriage changed? When Gay People Get Married gives readers a primer on the current state of the same-sex marriage debate, and a new way of framing the issue that provides valuable new insights into the political, social, and personal stakes involved.

The experiences of other countries and these pioneering American states serve as a crystal ball as we grapple with this polarizing issue in the American context. The evidence shows both that marriage changes gay people more than gay people change marriage, and that it is the most liberal countries and states making the first move to recognize gay couples. In the end, Badgett compellingly shows that allowing gay couples to marry does not destroy the institution of marriage and that many gay couples do benefit, in expected as well as surprising ways, from the legal, social, and political rights that the institution offers.

Constitutional Rights, Moral Controversy, and the Supreme Court
Michael J. Perry
KF8748 .P39 2009
From the Publisher: In this important new book, Michael J. Perry examines three of the most disputed constitutional issues of our time: capital punishment, state laws banning abortion, and state policies denying the benefit of law to same-sex unions. The author, a leading constitutional scholar, explains that if a majority of the justices of the Supreme Court believes that a law violates the Constitution, it does not necessarily follow that the Court should rule that the law is unconstitutional. In cases in which it is argued that a law violates the Constitution, the Supreme Court must decide which of two importantly different questions it should address: (1) Is the challenged law unconstitutional? (2) Is the lawmakers’ judgment that the challenged law is constitutional a reasonable judgment? (One can answer both questions in the affirmative.) By focusing on the death penalty, abortion, and same-sex unions, Perry provides illuminating new perspectives not only on moral controversies that implicate one or more constitutionally entrenched human rights, but also on the fundamental question of the Supreme Court’s proper role in adjudicating such controversies.

Queer Mobilizations: LGBT Activists Confront the Law
edited by Scott Barclay, Mary Bernstein, and Anna-Maria Marshall
KF4754.5 .Q84 2009
From the Publisher: Fighting for marriage and family rights; protection from discrimination in employment, education, and housing; criminal law reform; economic justice; and health care reform: the LGBT movement is engaged in some of the most important cultural and political battles of our times. Seeking to reshape many of our basic social institutions, the LBGT movement’s legal, political, and cultural campaigns reflect the complex visions, strategies, and rhetoric of the individuals and groups knocking at the law’s door. The original essays in this volume bring social movement scholarship and legal analysis together, enriching our understanding of social movements, LGBT politics and organizing, legal studies, and public policy. Moreover, they highlight the struggle to make the law relevant and responsive to the LGBT community. Ultimately, Queer Mobilizations examines how the LGBT movement’s engagement with the law shapes the very meanings of sexuality, sex, gender, privacy, discrimination, and family in law and society.

Courting Change: Queer Parents, Judges, and the Transformation of American Family Law
Kimberly D. Richman
KF540 .R53 2009
From the Publisher: A lesbian couple rears a child together and, after the biological mother dies, the surviving partner loses custody to the child’s estranged biological father. Four days later, in a different court, judges rule on the side of the partner, because they feel the child relied on the woman as a psychological parent. What accounts for this inconsistency regarding gay and lesbian adoption and custody cases, and why has family law failed to address them in a comprehensive manner? In Courting Change, Kimberly D. Richman zeros in on the nebulous realm of family law, one of the most indeterminate and discretionary areas of American law. She focuses on judicial decisions—both the outcomes and the rationales—and what they say about family, rights, sexual orientation, and who qualifies as a parent. Richman challenges prevailing notions that gay and lesbian parents and families are hurt by laws’ indeterminacy, arguing that, because family law is so loosely defined, it allows for the flexibility needed to respond to — and even facilitate — changes in how we conceive of family, parenting, and the role of sexual orientation in family law.

Drawing on every recorded judicial decision in gay and lesbian adoption and custody cases over the last fifty years, and on interviews with parents, lawyers, and judges, Richman demonstrates how parental and sexual identities are formed and interpreted.

Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts
edited by Douglas Laycock, Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., and Robin Fretwell Wilson
BL462 .S36 2008
From the Publisher: [This title] explores two principal questions. First, exactly what kind of religious freedom conflicts are likely to emerge if society embraces same-sex marriage? A redefinition of marriage would impact a host of laws where marital status affects legal rights—in housing, employment, healthcare, education, public accommodations, and property, in addition to family law. These laws, in turn, regulate a host of religious institutions—schools, hospitals, and social service providers, to name a few—that often embrace a different definition of marriage. As a result, church-state conflicts will follow. This volume anticipates where and how these manifold disputes will arise. Second, how might these conflicts be resolved? If the disputes spark litigation under the Free Speech, Free Exercise, or Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment, who will prevail and why? When, if ever, should claims of religious liberty prevail over claims of sexual liberty? Drawing on experience in analogous areas of law, the volume explores whether it is possible to avoid these constitutional conflicts by statutory accommodation, or by separating religious marriage from civil marriage.

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