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Navigating A Post-Windsor World: The Promise And Limits Of Marriage Equality, Nancy J. Knauer May 2014

Navigating A Post-Windsor World: The Promise And Limits Of Marriage Equality, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

When the 2013 landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor invalidated part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it was hailed as a landmark civil rights victory, but its implementation has been far from seamless. The federal government has not applied a uniform rule for marriage recognition, applying a state-of-domicile rule for some purposes (Social Security) and a broader state-of-celebration rule for others (e.g., federal tax matters). Moreover, Windsor did not directly address the state-level marriage prohibitions that remain in place in the majority of states. As a result, the United States continues to be a patchwork of marriage laws …


Legal Consciousness And Lgbt Research: The Importance Of Law In The Everyday Lives Of Lgbt Individuals, Nancy J. Knauer Dec 2011

Legal Consciousness And Lgbt Research: The Importance Of Law In The Everyday Lives Of Lgbt Individuals, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The law occupies a prominent place in the everyday lives of LGBT individuals, and the continuing regulation and policing of sexuality and gender weighs heavily on many people who identify as LGBT. Despite remarkable progress in the area of LGBT civil rights, LGBT individuals in the United States still lack formal equality and are denied many of the protections that are afforded other historically disadvantaged groups. These legal disabilities represent an ongoing source of minority stress and can produce a correspondingly high degree of “legal consciousness” within the LGBT community. Given the importance of law in LGBT lives, it is …


“Gen Silent”: Advocating For Lgbt Elders, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2011

“Gen Silent”: Advocating For Lgbt Elders, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This article provides a general introduction to the specific challenges facing LGBT elders. In addition to the general burdens of aging, LGBT elders are disadvantaged by a number of LGBT-specific concerns, most notably: the legal fragility of their support systems, high levels of financial insecurity compounded by ineligibility for spousal benefits, and the continued prevalence of anti-LGBT bias on the part of their non-LGBT peers and service providers. Part I outlines the ways in which LGBT elders differ from their non-LGBT peers in terms of demographics and their reliance on “chosen family,” as well as some of the particular issues …


Gay And Lesbian Elders: Estate Planning And End-Of-Life Decisionmaking, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2010

Gay And Lesbian Elders: Estate Planning And End-Of-Life Decisionmaking, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This Article addresses the three areas of core concern for gay and lesbian elders -- chosen family, financial insecurity, and anti-gay bias in the context of estate planning. The first section provides an overview of the current generation of gay and lesbian elders, including a summary of pre-Stonewall history and existing demographic information. The second section outlines the challenges associated with drafting an estate plan that favors chosen family over next of kin. The third section engages the topic of financial insecurity, discussing various benefits and government programs, such as social security and Medicaid planning. The fourth and final section …


Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2008

Same-Sex Marriage And Federalism, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The increasing willingness of states to recognize same-sex relationships illustrates the central theme of this Symposium: federalism provides states the freedom to experiment with novel solutions to pressing social issues. The development of progressive policies seems to bear out Justice Brandeis' optimistic vision of federalism where "a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country." With respect to same-sex relationships, however, state level reform efforts have not been uniformly progressive. To the contrary, the vast majority of these efforts prohibit the …


The Recognition Of Same-Sex Relationships: Comparative Institutional Analysis, Contested Social Goals, And Strategic Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2006

The Recognition Of Same-Sex Relationships: Comparative Institutional Analysis, Contested Social Goals, And Strategic Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The emerging field of comparative institutional analysis (CIA) has much to offer public policy analysts. However, the failure of CIA to address the dynamic process through which social goals are articulated limits the scope of its application to the largely prescriptive pronouncements of legal scholars. By examining the movement for equal recognition of same-sex relationships, this Essay builds on the basic observations of CIA and introduces a new dimension, namely the dynamic process through which social goals are articulated and social change is pursued. The acknowledgment that the production of social goals involves institutional behavior, as well as multiple sites …


A Marriage Skeptic Responds To The Pro-Marriage Proposals To Abolish Civil Marriage, Nancy J. Knauer Dec 2005

A Marriage Skeptic Responds To The Pro-Marriage Proposals To Abolish Civil Marriage, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This essay responds to the pro-marriage proposals to abolish civil marriage presented by Professors Crane and Zelinsky. As a marriage skeptic, I do not share their unwavering support of marriage, but there are numerous points of agreement. I agree with Professor Zelinsky that a vision of a world without civil marriage is an important metric against which to evaluate public policy proposals. In addition, I find quite compelling the notion that a private deregulated marriage regime would promote a more mindful partnership where expectations were express, responsibilities were clear, and the terms were tailor-made for the particular couple. Finally, I …


The Recognition Of Same-Sex Relationships: Comparative Institutional Analysis, Contested Social Goals, And Strategic Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer Sep 2005

The Recognition Of Same-Sex Relationships: Comparative Institutional Analysis, Contested Social Goals, And Strategic Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The emerging field of comparative institutional analysis (CIA) has much to offer public policy analysts. However, the failure of CIA to address the dynamic process through which social goals are articulated limits the scope of its application to the largely prescriptive pronouncements of legal scholars. By examining the movement for equal recognition of same-sex relationships, this Essay builds on the basic observations of CIA and introduces a new dimension, namely the dynamic process through which social goals are articulated and social change is pursued. The acknowledgment that the production of social goals involves institutional behavior, as well as multiple sites …


September 11 Relief Efforts And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Reflections On Relationships In The Absence Of Legal Recognition, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2005

September 11 Relief Efforts And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Reflections On Relationships In The Absence Of Legal Recognition, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The criteria established by federal, state, and private relief efforts to assist the families of the victims of the September 11 attacks present a unique opportunity to examine the status of same-sex relationships in the United States. In the absence of uniform relationship recognition, surviving same-sex partners continue to struggle with a loss that legally is not cognizable. The stories from the September 11 survivors illustrate that a surviving partner is a legal stranger, who often must reconfigure her relationship with her partner to fit within the various legal categories where relief or compensation might be forthcoming. These legal categories …


September 11 Attacks And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Defining Family Through Tragedy, Nancy J. Knauer Dec 2001

September 11 Attacks And Surviving Same-Sex Partners: Defining Family Through Tragedy, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The September 11 relief efforts present a unique prism through which to view the status of same-sex relationships and to consider which families count when the United States is supposedly at its most generous, most united, and most injured. On a basic human level, would the nation grieve for Peggy Neff, who lost her partner of 18 years when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, as it had for the widow of a fire fighter? Would Neff be eligible to file a claim with the multi-billion dollar federal September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, which Congress established to compensate victims and …


Domestic Partnership And Same-Sex Relationships: A Marketplace Innovation And A Less Than Perfect Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 1998

Domestic Partnership And Same-Sex Relationships: A Marketplace Innovation And A Less Than Perfect Institutional Choice, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

The struggle for the recognition and protection of same-sex relationships is at the forefront of the contemporary gay and lesbian civil rights agenda. Whereas the push for same-sex marriage and parenting rights has met with mixed results in the courts and the legislatures, an impressive array of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, colleges, nonprofit corporations, and municipalities, now extend benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees. This level of success raises a provocative question regarding the potential role of institutional employers in the larger on the agenda for progressive social change. Domestic partnership benefits are a creature of the …