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Law and Gender

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Gay Self-Identification And The Right To Political Legibility, Fadi G. Hanna Nov 2005

Gay Self-Identification And The Right To Political Legibility, Fadi G. Hanna

Student Scholarship Papers

Over twenty years after the Sixth Circuit held that a bisexual public employee could be dismissed for coming out, courts remain split on the question of constitutional protection for gay coming-out speech. In addressing that question, this Article begins with a more fundamental one: What is the legal harm of suppressing coming-out speech? This Article suggests that a distinct legal harm follows from whether one conceives of coming-out as “persuasive,” “creative,” or “descriptive” speech—establishing a framework that applies to all minorities whose status is not readily apparent. Arguing that courts and scholars have adopted persuasive and creative conceptions of ...