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Full-Text Articles in Law

Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso May 2019

Getting To Equal: Resolving The Judicial Impasse On The Weight Of Non-Monetary Contribution In Kenya's Marital Asset Division, Benedeta Prudence Mutiso

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Marital property law reforms and changing international human rights standards in the late 20th and early 21st century prompted Kenya to end certain discriminatory practices against women, especially in the area of property rights. For 50 years, Kenya relied on England’s century-old law, the Married Women’s Property Act of 1882, to regulate property rights. In 2010, Kenya adopted a new Constitution that called for equality between men and women, and in 2013, Kenya enacted independent legislation in the form of the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA). The MPA provides a basis for trial courts to divide marital property upon ...


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 ...


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 ...


A Postcolonial Theory Of Spousal Rape: The Carribean And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy Jan 2015

A Postcolonial Theory Of Spousal Rape: The Carribean And Beyond, Stacy-Ann Elvy

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Many postcolonial states in the Caribbean continue to struggle to comply with their international treaty obligations to protect women from sexual violence. Reports from various United Nations programs, including UNICEF, and the annual U.S. State Department Country Reports on Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia (“Commonwealth Countries”), indicate that sexual violence against women, including spousal abuse, is a significant problem in the Caribbean. Despite ratification of various international instruments intended to eliminate sexual violence against women, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Commonwealth Countries have retained ...


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.


An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler Jan 2013

An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As this Article shows, the conventional historical narrative of the divorce revolution is not so much incorrect as incomplete. Histories of the divorce revolution have focused disproportionately on the introduction of no-fault rules and have correctly concluded that women's groups did not play a central role in the introduction of such laws. However, work on divorce law has not adequately addressed the history of marital-property reform or engaged with scholarship on the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution. Putting these two bodies of work in dialogue with one another, the Article provides the first comprehensive ...


Civil Marriage: Threat To Democracy, Jessica Knouse Jan 2012

Civil Marriage: Threat To Democracy, Jessica Knouse

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues that civil marriage and democracy are inherently incompatible, whether assessed from a transcultural perspective that reduces them to their most universal aspects or a culturally situated perspective that accounts for their uniquely American elaborations. Across virtually all cultures, civil marriage privileges sexual partners by offering them exclusive access to highly desirable government benefits, while democracy presupposes liberty and equality. When governments privilege sexual partners, they effectively deprive their citizens of liberty by encouraging them to enter sexual partnerships rather than selfdetermining based on their own preferences; they effectively deprive their citizens of equality by establishing insidious status ...


The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr. Jan 2012

The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr.

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On Sunday, September 19, 1886, Moses Harman, the editor of the radical newspaper Lucifer the Light-Bearer, presided over an inherently contradictory event-a free-love marriage ceremony between his associate editor, the thirty-seven-year-old Edwin Walker, and Moses' own daughter, the sixteen-year-old Lillian. The case that the two Harmans and Walker wished to present aimed to transform marriage from a public to a private relationship and from a permanent and exclusive one to a temporary one that permitted potentially many partners. State v. Walker and its parties have received some scholarly notice, but the truly radical quality of the arguments Moses, Edwin, and ...


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.


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.


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 ...


The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale Jan 2005

The Passage Of Community Property Laws, 1939-1947: Was "More Than Money" Involved?, Jennifer E. Sturiale

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article reviews the legal landscape that provided the backdrop against which Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania later adopted community property laws. It also examines the tax consequences of the two Supreme Court cases, Lucas v. Earl and Poe v. Seaborn, that resulted in the disparate tax treatment of married couples in common law and community property law states. Part II briefly reviews the subsequent passage of community property laws by Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania; the passage of a federal tax reduction bill that provided for equal treatment of community property law and common ...


"Just" Married?: Same-Sex Marriage And A Hustory Of Family Plurality, Judith E. Koons Jan 2005

"Just" Married?: Same-Sex Marriage And A Hustory Of Family Plurality, Judith E. Koons

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

To contribute to a full moral deliberation about same-sex marriage, this Article inquires into the meanings of marriage, sexuality, and family from historical and narrative perspectives that are situated at the intersection of religious and political domains.


Restructuring The Marital Bedroom: The Role Of The Privacy Doctrine In Advocating The Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage, Nadine A. Gartner Jan 2004

Restructuring The Marital Bedroom: The Role Of The Privacy Doctrine In Advocating The Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage, Nadine A. Gartner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this paper examines the reasons underlying queer rights advocates' reluctance to insert privacy arguments into the case for legalizing same-sex marriage. Part II illustrates that, due to such disinclination, advocates transformed notions of privacy into concepts of liberty. Part III argues that, after the Lawrence decision, proponents of same-sex marriage can and should use privacy-based arguments to fortify their claims.


Sex Determination For Federal Purposes: Is Transsexual Immigration Via Marriage Permissible Under The Defense Of Marriage Act?, John A. Fisher Jan 2004

Sex Determination For Federal Purposes: Is Transsexual Immigration Via Marriage Permissible Under The Defense Of Marriage Act?, John A. Fisher

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I describes the federal immigration benefits available to spouses of most U.S. citizens and presents the historical and contemporary obstacles that prohibit these benefits from being extended to gays and lesbians. It then addresses DOMA's failure to define "opposite sex," and hence DOMA's failure to indicate whether post-operative transsexuals, or their partners, should be given "spousal status" under current U.S. immigration law. Part II examines traditional and modern notions of sex. It traces state legal approaches to transsexual marriage and ultimately disentangles the formalistic rhetoric that obfuscates the reasoning in those cases. In particular, Part ...


Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle Jan 2003

Is Marriage Obsolete?, Lynn D. Wardle

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Is legal marriage obsolete? Wardle thinks not. In order to understand why not, it is necessary first to grasp the significance of the focus of the discussion on the legal status of marriage. As this Introduction suggests, lack of legal marriage status does not prevent families and communities from treating couples as married nor does the law forbid couples from voluntarily providing each other "marital benefits." Nevertheless, whether marriage is obsolete at the beginning of the twenty-first century is an important question. This article analyzes four dimensions of that question.


The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson Jan 2003

The Marriage Dower: Essential Guarantor Of Women's Rights In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, Heather Jacobson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article evaluates the impact that eliminating or reducing the marriage dower would have on the well-being of Muslim women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although Palestinian women's rights organizations seek to eliminate dower on the grounds that it is a "burdensome custom" that is "inconsistent with the intifada's stated goal of improving women's status," in fact, the interaction between dower and other laws relating to marriage and divorce is such that the majority of women would be materially harmed by its discontinuance. Therefore, while the movement to eliminate dower may benefit the financially secure ...


Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law Jan 2003

Marriage Law: Obsolete Or Cutting Edge?, Michigan Journal Of Gender & Law

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Over the past hundred years, social and cultural expectations surrounding various forms of committed relationships have changed dramatically, and contemporary legal systems have struggled to adapt. The result has been an extraordinary opportunity to test fundamental assumptions about law, about the cultural understandings that are enforced through state power, and about the mechanisms that drive law's evolution. The Michigan Journal of Gender & Law has drawn together an exceptional group of panelists who will discuss these questions throughout the day.


Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright Jan 2003

Covenant Marriage Turns Five Years Old, Steven L. Nock, Laura Sanchez, Julia C. Wilson, James D. Wright

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article discusses public policy rationales behind covenant marriage legislation, describes relevant aspects of Louisiana's legislation, and summarizes the efforts of other states to enact covenant marriage legislation. Part II discusses methods of data collection and analysis and identifies the demographic characteristics of covenant married couples as opposed to standard married couples in Louisiana. Part III addresses the dynamics behind couples' choice to have a covenant versus standard marriage. Part IV is an analysis of couples' satisfaction with their marriage option and the gendered dynamics of different levels of satisfaction with the marital choice.


From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton Jan 2003

From Presumed Fathers To Lesbian Mothers: Sex Discrimination And The Legal Construction Of Parenthood, Susan E. Dalton

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Part I of this article, Dalton briefly reviews the way legal scholars commonly define sex-based discrimination, particularly as it pertains to issues of reproduction. Part II is a brief historical review of legal constructions of parenthood. In Part III, Dalton examines two legal concepts: retroactive legitimation and presumed fatherhood. Both concepts were introduced in 1872 and each independently encouraged judges to think of fatherhood as consisting of two distinct spheres, the biological and the social. She then traces the legal development of these concepts through a series of presumed father, retroactive legitimation, and putative father cases. In Part IV ...


Dowry Deaths: Proposing A Standard For Implementation Of Domestic Legislation In Accordance With Human Rights Obligations, Namratha S. Ravikant Jan 2000

Dowry Deaths: Proposing A Standard For Implementation Of Domestic Legislation In Accordance With Human Rights Obligations, Namratha S. Ravikant

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article discusses the due diligence standard of governmental responsibility, and measures the adequacy of India's implementation of its national dowry death legislation in accordance with its international human rights obligations. India has enacted legislation designed to combat dowry violence. Although India's laws seem to follow the letter of its international human rights obligations, the country violates the spirit of human rights by lacking an actual commitment to implement this legislation. This Article demonstrates and examines India's breach of its duty of due diligence. Such a breach constitutes government complicity in condoning and perpetuating dowry deaths, which ...


A Matter Of Principle And Consistency: Understanding The Battered Woman And Cultural Defenses, Sharan K. Suri Jan 2000

A Matter Of Principle And Consistency: Understanding The Battered Woman And Cultural Defenses, Sharan K. Suri

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

To adequately explain and argue why feminists, as a matter of legal theory, must take both the BWS and cultural defenses seriously, these defenses need further elaboration. Section I details what these defenses are, how they developed, and how they work in the justice system. Section II enlarges the picture by revealing the similarities between the two defenses which share not only the same theoretical and practical goals, but also the same criticisms and flaws highlighted by scholars. Finally, Section III asserts that cultural evidence and evidence of battering must be admitted to show the absence of mens rea. However ...


The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson Jan 1999

The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As the first state to prohibit slavery by constitution, and one of the few states which, from its inception, extended the vote to male citizens who did not own land, the State of Vermont has long been at the forefront of this nation's march toward full equality for all of its citizens. In July 1997, three same-sex couples challenged Vermont to act as a leader yet again, this time in affording full civil rights to the State's gay and lesbian citizens. Stan Baker and Peter Harrigan, Nina Beck and Stacy Jolles, and Holly Puterbaugh and Lois Farnham were ...


The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson Jan 1999

The Freedom To Marry For Same-Sex Couples: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiffs Stan Baker Et Al. In Baker Et Al. V. State Of Vermont, Mary Bonauto, Susan M. Murray, Beth Robinson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As the first state to prohibit slavery by constitution, and one of the few states which, from its inception, extended the vote to male citizens who did not own land, the State of Vermont has long been at the forefront of this nation's march toward full equality for all of its citizens. In July 1997, three same-sex couples challenged Vermont to act as a leader yet again, this time in affording full civil rights to the State's gay and lesbian citizens. Stan Baker and Peter Harrigan, Nina Beck and Stacy Jolles, and Holly Puterbaugh and Lois Farnham were ...


The Marriage Mirage: The Personal And Social Indentity Implications Of Same-Gendered Matrimony, Linda S. Eckols Jan 1999

The Marriage Mirage: The Personal And Social Indentity Implications Of Same-Gendered Matrimony, Linda S. Eckols

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article will examine why so much is at stake in the political, social, and legal debate over same-gender marriage. It will not address the constitutional questions of whether there is a fundamental right to marry, although persuasive arguments have been advanced from both sides of the debate." This Article will focus on a more introspective view of the potential effects of legalizing same-gender marriage on the identities of gay men and lesbians in committed relationships and on the interaction between same-gender couples and society. Marriage would provide the integration sought by gay men and lesbians, but at the expense ...


Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan Jan 1997

Doma: An Unconstitutional Establishment Of Fundamentalist Christianity, James M. Donovan

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

According to the text of the Act, DOMA's purposes are "to define and protect the institution of marriage," where marriage is defined to exclude same-sex partners. To be constitutionally valid under the Establishment Clause, this notion that heterosexual marriages require "protection" from gay and lesbian persons must spring from a secular and not religious source. This Article posits that DOMA has crossed this forbidden line between the secular and the religious. DOMA, motivated and supported by fundamentalist Christian ideology, and lacking any genuine secular goals or justifications, betrays the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.


Husband And Wife Are One - Him: Bennis V. Michigan As The Resurrection Of Coverture, Amy D. Ronner Jan 1996

Husband And Wife Are One - Him: Bennis V. Michigan As The Resurrection Of Coverture, Amy D. Ronner

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Although the legal fictions of coverture and guilty property have been repudiated by statutes and the Court respectively, the Supreme Court implicitly resurrected and fused the coverture and guilty property myths in Bennis v. Michigan. In that decision, the Court approved the forfeiture of Ms. Bennis' interest in a car in which her husband engaged in sexual activity with a prostitute. This Article explores that resurrected conglomerate in three parts. Part I is a concise review of the feudal doctrine of coverture and the disabilities it imposed on married women. Part II focuses almost entirely on the decision in Austin ...