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The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo Jan 2018

The Strange Pairing: Building Alliances Between Queer Activists And Conservative Groups To Recognize New Families, Nausica Palazzo

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article explores some of the legal initiatives and reforms that opponents of same-sex marriage in Canada and the United States have pushed forward. Despite being animated by a desire to dilute the protections for same-sex couples, these reforms resulted in “queering” family law, in the sense that they functionalized the notion of family. Consequently, two cohabiting relatives or friends would be eligible for legal recognition, along with all the public and private benefits of such recognition. I term these kinds of “unions” and other nonnormative relationships to be “new families.”

The central claim of this Article is thus that ...


Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein Dec 2017

Working Sex Words, Anita Bernstein

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Imagine yourself tasked to speak for a few minutes about legal controls on sex-selling in the United States, or any other country you choose. You need not have thought about the particulars. As someone willing to read a law review article, you have enough to say because sex-selling overlaps with the subject knowledge you already have. Criminal law, contracts, employment law, immigration law, tort law, zoning, commercial law, and intellectual property, among other legal categories, all intersect with this topic. In your brief remarks on how law attempts to mediate the sale and purchase of sex, you have only one ...


Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck Jan 2017

Prenatal Abandonment: 'Horton Hatches The Egg' In The Supreme Court And Thirty-Four States, Mary M. Beck

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article addresses an issue critical to forty-one percent of fathers in the United States: prenatal abandonment. Under prenatal abandonment theory, fathers can lose their parental rights to non-marital children if they do not provide prenatal support to the mothers of their children. This is true even if the mothers have not notified the fathers of the pregnancy and if the mothers or fathers are unsure of the fathers’ paternity. While this result may seem counterintuitive, it is necessitated by demographic trends. Prenatal abandonment theory has been structured to protect mothers, fathers, and fetuses in response to a number of ...


The Incest Horrible: Delimiting The Lawrence V. Texas Right To Sexual Autonomy, Y. Carson Zhou Jan 2016

The Incest Horrible: Delimiting The Lawrence V. Texas Right To Sexual Autonomy, Y. Carson Zhou

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is the criminalization of consensual sex between close relatives constitutional in the wake of Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges? Justice Scalia thought not. The substantive due process landscape has changed dramatically in response to the LGBTQ movement. Yet, when a girl in a sexual relationship with her father recently revealed in an anonymous interview with New York Magazine that they were planning to move to New Jersey, one of the only two states where incest was legal, the New Jersey legislature introduced with unprecedented speed a bill criminalizing incest. But who has the couple harmed? The very mention ...


Gender And Non-Normative Sex In Sub-Saharan Africa, Johanna Bond Jan 2016

Gender And Non-Normative Sex In Sub-Saharan Africa, Johanna Bond

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues for the adoption of a gender-based framework to supplement rights promotion strategies and campaigns based on LGBTI identity. The Article draws upon feminist, queer, and trans theory to develop an expansive understanding of gender within international human rights law. An analysis incorporating such theory will catalyze more systematic promotion of LGBTI rights. Although the approach is applicable across a variety of geographic contexts, this Article uses sub-Saharan Africa as an illustrative case study. A focus on gender rights as supplementary to and interrelated with LGBTI rights offers both conceptual and pragmatic benefits in the struggle to promote ...


Bridging Bisexual Erasure In Lgbt-Rights Discourse And Litigation, Nancy C. Marcus Dec 2015

Bridging Bisexual Erasure In Lgbt-Rights Discourse And Litigation, Nancy C. Marcus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

LGBT rights are at the forefront of current legal news, with “gay marriage” and other “gay” issues visible beyond dispute in social and legal discourse in the 21st Century. Less visible are the bisexuals who are supposedly encompassed by the umbrella phrase “LGBT” and by LGBT-rights litigation, but who are often left out of LGBTrights discourse entirely. This Article examines the problem of bisexual invisibility and erasure within LGBT-rights litigation and legal discourse. The Article surveys the bisexual erasure legal discourse to date, and examines the causes of bisexual erasure and its harmful consequences for bisexuals, the broader LGBT community ...


Deboer V. Snyder: A Case Study In Litigation And Social Reform, Wyatt Fore Jan 2015

Deboer V. Snyder: A Case Study In Litigation And Social Reform, Wyatt Fore

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for four cases from the Sixth Circuit addressing the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage. This Note examines DeBoer v. Snyder, the Michigan marriage case, with the goal of providing litigators and scholars the proper context for our current historical moment in which (1) the legal status of LGBT people; and (2) the conventional wisdom about the role of impact litigation in social reform movements are rapidly evolving.


A Joyful Heart Is Good Medicine: Sexuality Conversion Bans In The Courts, Wyatt Fore Oct 2014

A Joyful Heart Is Good Medicine: Sexuality Conversion Bans In The Courts, Wyatt Fore

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Led by California and New Jersey, states have begun to ban Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) for minors. States have targeted SOCE, also called ‘gay conversion therapy,’ by regulating state licensure requirements for mental health professionals. Conservative legal groups have challenged these bans in federal court, alleging a variety of constitutional violations sounding in the First and Fourteenth Amendments. More specifically, these legal groups propose theories claiming that the bans infringe upon individuals’ freedom of speech, free exercise, and parental rights. In this Note, I survey the history of these bans, as well as court decisions that have rejected constitutional ...


Outing The Majority: Gay Rights, Public Debate, And Polarization After Doe V. Reed, Marc Allen Jan 2013

Outing The Majority: Gay Rights, Public Debate, And Polarization After Doe V. Reed, Marc Allen

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In 2010, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Doe v. Reed that Washington citizens who signed a petition to eliminate legal rights for LGBT couples did not have a right to keep their names secret. A year later, in ProtectMarriage.com v. Bowen, a district court in California partially relied on Reed to reject a similar request from groups who lobbied for California Proposition 8-a constitutional amendment that overturned the California Supreme Court's landmark 2008 gay marriage decision. These holdings are important to election law, feminist, and first amendment scholars for a number of reasons. First, they flip ...


Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt Jan 2013

Bathroom Bias: Making The Case For Trans Rights Under Disability Law, Daniella A. Schmidt

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Disability law is one of the more successful tools currently being used to protect trans people fom discrimination. While the use of disability law as a framework for affirming or creating trans rights has come with some success, many in the community remain reluctant to use disability law for fear of the policy implications and stigma associated with medicalization of trans identity. After exploring the current state of the law on both the federal and state level, this Note will argue how disability law both could and should be used more often to further trans protections. In particular, this Note ...


Modernizing State Vital Statistics Statutes And Policies To Ensure Accurate Gender Markers On Birth Certificates: A Good Government Approach To Recognizing The Lives Of Transgender People, Lisa Mottet Jan 2013

Modernizing State Vital Statistics Statutes And Policies To Ensure Accurate Gender Markers On Birth Certificates: A Good Government Approach To Recognizing The Lives Of Transgender People, Lisa Mottet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Across the country, laws governing corrections to gender markers on birth certificates are relatively uniform, in large part because many states adopted the relevant provisions of the 1977 revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act (MSVSA). The MSVSA, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, guides states on the most efficient laws and procedures related to maintaining accurate birth, death, and other vital records at the state, local, and territorial level. At the time when the government promulgated the MSVSA provision related to gender corrections, it served as a forward-thinking model because it acknowledged that ...


Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson Jan 2012

Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While some might believe that Black versus gay discourse only surfaces in highly politicized settings like the military and marriage, it holds sway in the area of LGBT transracial adoption. LGBT transracial adoptions are a relatively small percentage of all adoptions, which include private adoptions, LGBT second-parent adoptions, and step-parent adoptions, but they are an important site for interrogating the Black versus gay discourse because adoption and custody decisions often address parent-child transmission. When claims intersect, as they do in a case where a White LGBT foster parent and a Black maternal grandmother dispute the adoption of a Black child ...


When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis Jan 2011

When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legally speaking, sexual maturity poses a significant enough liberty interest for a minor to make medical decisions regarding contraceptive medicine or to choose motherhood without parental involvement, but not quite enough for her to obtain an abortion independently. The law incentivizes teenage motherhood by only granting decisional autonomy to those minors who choose to have a child; the minor female's right to procreate vests regardless of her individual maturity. The law discourages teenage abortions by using the choice to terminate a pregnancy to trigger a presumption of immaturity; the minor female's abortion right is pitted against personal autonomy ...


Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai Jan 2011

Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In August 2009, a group of parents in California filed a lawsuit, Balde v. Alameda Unified School District, in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. They alleged that the Alameda Unified School District refused them the right to excuse their children from a new curriculum, Lesson 9, that would teach public elementary school children about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) families. The proposed curriculum included short sessions about GLBT people, incorporated into more general lessons about family and health, once a year from kindergarten through fifth grade. Kindergarteners would learn the harms of teasing, while fifth graders ...


Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia Jan 2011

Sex Equality's Unnamed Nemesis, Veronica Percia

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Sex inequality still exists. However, its manifestations have evolved since the early sex inequality cases were heard in courts and legislatures first began structuring statutory regimes to combat it. In particular, so-called "facial" discrimination against men and women on the basis of sex has no doubt decreased since the advent of this legal assault on sex inequality. Yet the gendered assumptions that structure our institutions and interactions have proven resilient. With sex discrimination now operating more covertly, the problem of sex inequality looks considerably different than it once did. Courts, however, have failed to successfully respond to the changing contours ...


Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich Jan 2011

Removing Categorical Constraints On Equal Employment Opportunities And Anti-Discrimination Protections, Anastasia Niedrich

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

It has been the "historical tendency of anti-discrimination law to use categories to define protected classes of people." This Article challenges the categorical approach and seeks to change that limited framework. This Article focuses on the flaws with Title VII's categorical approach and discusses why there is a desperate need for change to combat the different types and targets of workplace discrimination today, focusing on the transgender community as one example. After discussing the current framework and operation of Title VII, this Article analyzes the insurmountable flaws inherent in the categorical approach to anti-discrimination law, and specifically considers Title ...


Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Transgendered individuals and their families face legal risks that most families do not, at least in part, because state laws are often unclear about whether or under what conditions transgendered individuals are permitted to marry the individuals whom they love. Challenges to the validity of marriages involving the transgendered may arise under a variety of circumstances, ranging from cases in which individuals may have hidden or may not even have known that they were transgendered until after their marriages, to cases in which the individuals had already transitioned and had explained their personal histories to their partners before they were ...


Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2010

Taxing Civil Rights Gains, Anthony C. Infanti

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is divided into four parts. In Part I, the nature of the levy that the DOMAs impose on same-sex couples is explained. In Part II, how this levy can be classified as a "tax" is explained. In Part III, the federal- and state-level ramifications of classifying the levy that the DOMAs impose as a "tax" are discussed. Finally, brief concluding remarks are provided that discuss how this Article might pave the way for making similar arguments with respect to other nontraditional families and, concomitantly, how it demonstrates the transformative potential of same-sex marriage.


Beyond The Binary: What Can Feminists Learn From Intersex Transgender Jurisprudence, Julie Greenberg, Marybeth Herald, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Beyond The Binary: What Can Feminists Learn From Intersex Transgender Jurisprudence, Julie Greenberg, Marybeth Herald, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Our panel will be discussing recent developments in the intersex and transsexual communities. The transsexual community began to organize in the 1970s, but did not fully develop into a vibrant movement until the 1990s. The intersex movement was born in the mid-1990s and has rapidly developed a strong and influential voice. Recently, both movements have undergone profound changes and each has provided new and unique theoretical perspectives that can potentially benefit other social justice groups. The purpose of our dialogue today is to describe these developments and explore how feminists could potentially benefit from the theoretical frameworks that are being ...


Situations, Frames, And Stereotypes: Cognitive Barriers On The Road To Nondiscrimination, Marybeth Herald Jan 2010

Situations, Frames, And Stereotypes: Cognitive Barriers On The Road To Nondiscrimination, Marybeth Herald

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

A study of the psychological literature can enhance legal theory by focusing attention on how the human brain perceives, distinguishes, categorizes, and ultimately makes decisions. The more that we learn about the brain's intricate operations, the more effective we can be at combating the types of gender biased decisions that influence our lives. In developing strategies to achieve equality, feminist, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex activists would be wise to learn from the psychological literature. This Article highlights a few examples illustrating how this knowledge might re-direct strategic choices for combating gender inequality.


Sex Education And Rape, Michelle J. Anderson Jan 2010

Sex Education And Rape, Michelle J. Anderson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In the law of rape, consent has been and remains a gendered concept. Consent presumes female acquiescence to male sexual initiation. It presumes a man desires to penetrate a woman sexually. It presumes the woman willingly yields to the man's desires. It does not presume, and of course does not require, female sexual desire. Consent is what the law calls it when he advances and she does not put up a fight. I have argued elsewhere that the kind of thin consent that the law focuses on is not enough ethically and it should not be enough legally to ...


Rethinking Consent In A Big Love Way, Cheryl Hanna Jan 2010

Rethinking Consent In A Big Love Way, Cheryl Hanna

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is based on a presentation at the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law as part of their symposium "Rhetoric & Relevance: An Investigation into the Present & Future of Feminist Legal Theory." In it, I explore the problem of categorical exclusions to the consent doctrine in private intimate relationships through the lens of the HBO series Big Love, which is about modern polygamy. There remains the normative question both after Lawrence v. Texas and in feminist legal theory of under what circumstances individuals should be able to consent to activity that takes place within the context of a private, intimate relationship. The tensions between individual autonomy and state interests are beautifully explored in Big Love. Drawing on themes presented in the series, this Article asks if there is any principled way to make the distinction between those relationships in which there is some physical or psychological harm inflicted and those in which the state has proscribed a relationship because of some moral or social harm it allegedly causes. Four case studies are presented to prompt readers to try to answer the question of when consent should be a defense to otherwise proscribed activity. I conclude that the future of feminist legal theory depends on its ability to remain ambivalent about the tensions presented in the consent doctrine as applied to contexts such as polygamy, prostitution, sadomasochistic sex, obscenity, and domestic violence. Big Love seeks to persuade us to accept ambivalence and to be open to changing our minds because of the complicated nature of women's (and men's) lives; feminist legal theory ought to persuade us to do the same.


Passions We Like… And Those We Don't: Anti-Gay Hate Crime Laws And The Discursive Construction Of Sex, Gender, And The Body, Yvonne Zylan Jan 2009

Passions We Like… And Those We Don't: Anti-Gay Hate Crime Laws And The Discursive Construction Of Sex, Gender, And The Body, Yvonne Zylan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article proceeds as follows. In Part II, the author catalogs the history of anti-gay hate crime laws in the United States, describing the rapid spread of state-level laws extending race- and religion-based hate crime laws to LGB people. The Article also provides an overview of federal legislation addressing anti-gay hate crime. In Part III, it examines the policy environment within which anti-gay hate crime laws have been, and continue to be, considered. Specifically, the jurisprudential frameworks that shape, define, and constrain discourses of equality, rights, and social identity are analyzed. The argument is made that the policy environment of ...


The Gay Agenda, Libby Adler Jan 2009

The Gay Agenda, Libby Adler

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article is designed to illuminate options that the author believes have been difficult for advocates of gay rights to imagine due to an incessant culture war and the hard work of anti-gay forces that have kept pro-gay advocates under persistent fire. The culture war, this paper argues, while a fundraising boon and a media draw, compels a particular type of participation and a particular reform agenda, eclipsing reform possibilities that might be preferable in the long run.


Of Sexual Bondage: The 'Legitimate Penological Interest' In Restricting Sexual Expression In Women's Prisons, Joanna E. Saul Jan 2009

Of Sexual Bondage: The 'Legitimate Penological Interest' In Restricting Sexual Expression In Women's Prisons, Joanna E. Saul

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Despite its prevalence, sexual expression among inmates is currently prohibited in United States prisons. Recent scholarship, however, has advocated allowing certain types of sexual expression in women's prisons. The advocates of such a position differentiate between different types of sex within the correctional system: sexual expression that the system has no interest in prohibiting and should not bar, and sex acts that the system does have an interest in prohibiting and should continue to regulate. This position is based on the dual assumptions that, first, women in prison as a collective unit would benefit from some types of sexual ...


The Evolution Of Same-Sex Marriage In Canada: Lessons The U.S. Can Learn From Their Northern Neighbor Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Rights, Christy M. Glass, Nancy Kubasek Jan 2008

The Evolution Of Same-Sex Marriage In Canada: Lessons The U.S. Can Learn From Their Northern Neighbor Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Rights, Christy M. Glass, Nancy Kubasek

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The broad differences between the United States and Canadian cases raise important questions about the social, political and legal factors that have promoted the extension of marriage rights in Canada while retarding similar efforts in the U.S. This article will compare the recent history of same-sex marriage laws in the United States and Canada. We argue that proponents of same-sex marriage as well as lawmakers could learn important lessons from the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. Section II develops a framework for comparing the U.S. and Canadian experience with same-sex marriage law. The next section traces ...


Chaos, Law, And God: The Religious Meanings Of Homosexuality, Jay Michaelson Jan 2008

Chaos, Law, And God: The Religious Meanings Of Homosexuality, Jay Michaelson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues that the religious meaning of homosexuality cannot be explained merely in terms of homophobia, "church and state," or traditional values versus progressive ones. Rather, the regulation of sexuality has a particular religious meaning: sexuality is a primary site in which religious law is engendered, where the lawfulness of religion meets the chaos beyond it. Whether in Biblical times or today, changing the way sexuality is regulated is a threat to the notion of order itself, as construed by Jewish and Christian religion. Arguments about gay rights, same-sex marriage, and related issues are not merely arguments informed by ...


Sex-Separation In Public Restrooms: Law, Architecture, And Gender, Terry S. Kogan Jan 2007

Sex-Separation In Public Restrooms: Law, Architecture, And Gender, Terry S. Kogan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article challenges the common assumption that legally mandated sex-separation of public restrooms is a benign recognition of natural anatomical differences between men and women. Relying on legal history, gender history, and architectural theory, my central thesis is that, contrary to common intuitions, there was nothing benign or gender neutral about the social and historical origins of the first laws adopted at the end of the nineteenth century that mandated such separation.


More Than Mere Semantics: The Case For An Expansive Definition Of Persecution In Sexual Minority Asylum Claims, Monica Saxena Jan 2006

More Than Mere Semantics: The Case For An Expansive Definition Of Persecution In Sexual Minority Asylum Claims, Monica Saxena

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article asserts that the requirement in U.S. asylum law that requires an asylee to make a showing of persecutory intent is overly and especially restrictive in claims made by sexual minorities. This Article proposes that the U.S. adopt the asylum standards of New Zealand and Canada, where the focus is on the failure of government protection as opposed to a focus on persecutory intent. Such standards are consistent with both the realities of persecution that sexual minorities encounter and the original impetus behind the Refugee Convention. Part I examines the different forms of persecution against sexual minorities ...


Expanding Gender And Expanding The Law: Toward A Social And Legal Conceptualization Of Gender That Is More Inclusive Of Transgender People, Dylan Vade Jan 2005

Expanding Gender And Expanding The Law: Toward A Social And Legal Conceptualization Of Gender That Is More Inclusive Of Transgender People, Dylan Vade

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Part I, the article first describes the many different ways in which one can be transgender. Many transgender women and men defy gender stereotypes. Part I next suggests a non-linear view of gender. Often, when we get past the binary gender system, the notion that there are only two genders, female and male, we do so by seeing gender as a spectrum or line running from female to male. In Part II, the article argues that the sex-gender distinction is not part of the new conceptualization of gender, the gender galaxy. In Part III, after a brief overview of ...