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Full-Text Articles in Law

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted May 2018

Born Free: Toward An Expansive Definition Of Sex, Laura Palk, Shelly Grunsted

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The State of New York recently issued its first physician-certified “intersex” birth certificate, correcting a 55-year-old’s original birth certificate. This is a positive step towards eliminating the traditional binary approach to a person’s birth sex, but it creates potential uncertainties in the employment discrimination context. Over the past several years, the definition of what constitutes “discrimination on the basis of sex” has both expanded (with the legalization of same-sex marriage) and narrowed (restricting the use of gender specific bathrooms). Until recently it appeared that a broader definition of the term “sex” would become the judicial—and possibly legislative ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


Law As A Tool For A Sexual Revolution: Israel's Prevention Of Sexual Harassment Law- 1998, Tzili Mor Jan 2001

Law As A Tool For A Sexual Revolution: Israel's Prevention Of Sexual Harassment Law- 1998, Tzili Mor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Discussion of the newly enacted law will outline the theoretical underpinnings and their effect on the resultant version (Part III), followed by the legislative history, including the Knesset and the public debate surrounding the bill (Part IV), and the impact of that debate on the final outcome of the law (Part V). Part VI will pay particular attention to the innovative approach of the law as a whole and some of the revolutionary specific provisions within. In particular, the legislative framework will be considered in the context of a nation founded and conducted on traditional religious tenets of Judaism. Finally ...


"Trapped" In Sing Sing: Transgendered Prisoners Caught In The Gender Binarism, Darren Rosenblum Jan 2000

"Trapped" In Sing Sing: Transgendered Prisoners Caught In The Gender Binarism, Darren Rosenblum

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article first summarizes gender, transgendered identity, and legal issues facing transgendered people to contextualize the lives of transgendered prisoners. Parts II and III explore respectively the placement and treatment issues that complicate the incarceration of the transgendered. Corrections authorities, through indifference or incompetence, foster a shockingly inhumane daily existence for transgendered prisoners. In Part V, I examine the plight of transgendered prisoners through the metaphor of the miners' canary. Transgendered prisoners signal the grave dangers facing all of us in a wide array of social structures, elucidating the apparently intractable problems of gender. This Article simultaneously explores a human ...


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 ...


Bisexual Jurisprudence: A Tripolar Approach To Law And Society, Rachel Haynes Jan 1999

Bisexual Jurisprudence: A Tripolar Approach To Law And Society, Rachel Haynes

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this Review will briefly assess the principal arguments in Colker's book. In Part II, Colker's book will be situated within the larger currents of the discussion concerning bisexuality and the arguments for a bisexual jurisprudence. Part III critiques Colker's concept of a bisexual jurisprudence as applied to sexual hybrids from the standpoint of an identity, as well as a legal, skeptic. Part IV will sketch out some important implications for the advancement of a bisexual jurisprudence as well as question the need for a bisexual jurisprudence. This review concludes that the addition of a ...


Naming The Grotesque Body In The "Nascent Jurisprudence Of Transsexualism", Richard F. Storrow Jan 1997

Naming The Grotesque Body In The "Nascent Jurisprudence Of Transsexualism", Richard F. Storrow

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

After a description of an analytical framework constructed of theories drawn from the writings of Mikhail Bahktin, Roland Barthes, and Sigmund Freud, this Article discusses the discrepancies in courts' use of medical authority in cases considering the rights of transsexuals and then analyzes courts' ultimate refusal to recognize transsexuals' psychological sex. The thrust of this Article is an examination of the forces compelling such inconsistencies. The result is an analysis which interweaves medical, juridical, psychological and mythic perspectives to disclose the underpinnings of courts' antipathy toward transsexuals.


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.


Fighting Anti-Gay Abuse In Schools: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiff Jamie Nabozny In Nabozny V. Podlesny, Patricia M. Logue, David S. Buckel Jan 1997

Fighting Anti-Gay Abuse In Schools: The Opening Appellate Brief Of Plaintiff Jamie Nabozny In Nabozny V. Podlesny, Patricia M. Logue, David S. Buckel

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446 (7th Cir. 1996), a case of first impression, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recognized the constitutional right of a gay male public school student to equal protection from anti-gay harassment and assaults. The court held that Jamie Nabozny had stated equal protection claims against his school district and three school principals for gender and sexual orientation discrimination based on allegations that, because he is gay and a boy, defendants had failed to afford him the same kinds of protection given to other harassed students. At trial on remand a jury found ...


Honesty, Privacy, And Shame: When Gay People Talk About Other Gay People To Nongay People, David L. Chambers, Steven K. Homer Jan 1997

Honesty, Privacy, And Shame: When Gay People Talk About Other Gay People To Nongay People, David L. Chambers, Steven K. Homer

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

There is a longstanding convention among lesbians and gay men in the United States: Do not reveal the sexuality of a gay person to a heterosexual person; unless you are certain that the gay person does not regard his sexuality as a secret. Lie if necessary to protect her secret. Violating the convention by "outing" another person is widely considered a serious social sin.


Second-Parent Adoption: Overcoming Barriers To Lesbian Family Rights, Maxwell S. Peltz Jan 1996

Second-Parent Adoption: Overcoming Barriers To Lesbian Family Rights, Maxwell S. Peltz

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this Article will discuss some of the legal difficulties associated with co-parenting and why lesbian couples have sought second-parent adoptions. Part II will examine the particular statutory obstacles to second-parent adoptions and then analyze the various ways courts in several states have overcome these obstacles. Finally, Part III will discuss the implications of these decisions in terms of their creation of legal and social norms.