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Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Theorizing And Litigating The Rights Of Sexual Minorities, Nancy Levit Jan 2009

Theorizing And Litigating The Rights Of Sexual Minorities, Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

One of the best measures of a society is how it treats its vulnerable groups. A central idea in Professor Martha Nussbaum's writings is that all humans "are of equal dignity and worth, no matter where they are situated in society." The strategic challenge in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) rights litigation is how to get courts to see sexual minorities as people worthy of equal dignity and respect. This article focuses on the roles of a positive emotion - love - and a procedural method of proof - science - in the shaping of laws defining the rights …


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 …


Science, Identity, And The Construction Of The Gay Political Narrative, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2003

Science, Identity, And The Construction Of The Gay Political Narrative, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This Article contends that the current debate over gay civil rights is, at base, a dispute over the nature of same-sex desire. Pro-gay forces advocate an ethnic or identity model of homosexuality based on the conviction that sexual orientation is an immutable, unchosen, and benign characteristic. The assertion that, in essence, gays are "born that way," has produced a gay political narrative that rests on claims of shared identity (i.e., homosexuals are a blameless minority) and arguments of equivalence (i.e., as a blameless minority, homosexuals deserve equal treatment and protection against discrimination). The pro-family counter-narrative is based on a behavioral …