Sexuality and the Law (2 credits)

This course will explore the relationship among sexuality, gender, and the law on both a theoretical and a practical level.  The first four weeks will explore the definition of sexuality/sexual orientation as well as the basis for laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender non-conformity.  Weeks 1-4 will ask the question of “What Is a Sexual Orientation?”, and will explore, respectively, gender/race parallels to sexual orientation, bisexuality, polyamory/polygamy, and transgenderism/gender non-conformity.  Week 5 will look more closely at the interrelationship among sexuality, disgust, and the law, and at what sustains laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.

The remainder of this course will be divided according to major substantive areas of the law, including: (1) the legal regulation of non-traditional sexuality, intimate relationships (marriage), and familial structures; (2) sexuality, the First Amendment, and the conflict between liberty (e.g., free speech, free exercise of religion) and equality (e.g., anti-discrimination) guarantees under the law; and (3) gender, sexuality, and employment discrimination (Title VII).  We will likely spend at least two weeks on the movement for marriage equality, one week on the normative critique of the marriage equality movement, one week on family formation (assisted reproduction/artificial insemination), and two weeks on the First Amendment.  That leaves two more weeks.  For one of those weeks we’ll read Kenji Yoshino’s very important book Covering.  The last week is still to be determined. 

All readings (aside from Yoshino’s book) are from packets that are available for purchase in the copy center. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law II