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Cracks In The Shield: The Necessity Of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, James N. Bolotin Jul 2014

Cracks In The Shield: The Necessity Of The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, James N. Bolotin

James N Bolotin

This paper argues that legislation protecting homosexuals from employment discrimination is necessary, despite hopeful arguments that the text of Title VII should or can already protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation. The paper discusses how the precedent of the federal courts has gone too far in the wrong direction to believe that they will fix this interpretation problem on their own. Furthermore, it posits that the passage of ENDA or similar legislation will successfully lessen the prevalence of this type of discrimination.

Part I considers the history of Title VII’s “because of sex” protection. This includes a short discussion …


Identity/Time, Nancy J. Knauer Sep 2013

Identity/Time, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This paper engages the unspoken fourth dimension of intersectionality — time. Using the construction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identities as an example, it establishes that identity, as it is lived and experienced, is not only multivalent, but also historically contingent. It then raises a number of points regarding the temporal locality of identity — the influence of time on issues of identity and understanding, its implications for legal interventions, social movement building, and paradigms of progressive change. As the title suggests, the paper asks us to consider the frame of identity over time.


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 …


Lgbt Elder Law: Toward Equity In Aging, Nancy J. Knauer Dec 2008

Lgbt Elder Law: Toward Equity In Aging, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

At a time when LGBT individuals enjoy an unprecedented degree of social acceptance and legal protection, many LGBT elders face the daily challenges of aging isolated from family, detached from the larger LGBT community, and ignored by mainstream aging initiatives. The corrosive legacy of the pre-Stonewall views of homosexuality makes many LGBT elders reluctant to declare themselves and demand equal treatment from policy makers and health care providers. As a result, they are denied the basic dignity of being able to share their memories of a life well lived without fear of rejection and reprisal. The concerns of LGBT elders …


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 …


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 …


Lawrence V. Texas: When Profound And Deep Convictions Collide With Liberty Interests, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2004

Lawrence V. Texas: When Profound And Deep Convictions Collide With Liberty Interests, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This Essay offers a brief analysis of Lawrence v. Texas, arguing that Justice Kennedy's recognition of a liberty interest is preferable to the Equal Protection analysis urged by the Petitioners and advanced by Justice O'Connor. Equality arguments based on orientation and group affiliation in the absence of a core right to sexual autonomy reinforce a view of stable gay identities that is ultimately disingenuous and disempowering. After seventeen years of attempts by pro-gay advocates to bifurcate conduct from status and sidestep Bowers v. Hardwick, Justice Kennedy's majority opinion has conclusively put the sex back into homosexual. Under Equal Protection analysis, …


Defining Capacity: The Competing Interests Of Autonomy And Need, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2003

Defining Capacity: The Competing Interests Of Autonomy And Need, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

This Essay addresses the question of capacity - the basic threshold determination that pervades all areas of the law. An individual must have the requisite level of capacity to consent to sex, refuse medical treatment, enter into a contract, marry, divorce, relinquish parental rights, execute a will, make a gift, donate organs, vote, serve on a jury, stand trial, and even to hire a lawyer. The standards regulating determinations of capacity are not monolithic. An individual may lack the capacity to contract, but may have the requisite capacity to write a will or to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment. As individuals, …


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 …


"Simply So Different": The Uniquely Expressive Character Of The Openly Gay Individual After Boy Scouts V. Dale, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2001

"Simply So Different": The Uniquely Expressive Character Of The Openly Gay Individual After Boy Scouts V. Dale, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

Boy Scouts v. Dale was uniformly considered a set back for gay rights. Undeniably, it was not a good result for James Dale or other openly gay individuals who would like to participate in the largest youth organization in the U.S. This Article views Boy Scouts v. Dale in a different light and suggests that the expressive character of the openly gay individual endorsed by the majority may signal an opportunity to argue for greater First Amendment protections. The majority recognized that a single avowal of homosexuality imbues the openly gay individual with a uniquely expressive character. Wherever he goes, …


Homosexuality As Contagion: From The Well Of Loneliness To The Boy Scouts, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 2000

Homosexuality As Contagion: From The Well Of Loneliness To The Boy Scouts, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

In the political arena, there are currently two central and competing views of homosexuality. Pro-family organizations, working from a contagion model of homosexuality, contend that homosexuality is an immoral, unhealthy, and freely chosen vice. Many pro-gay organizations espouse an identity model of homosexuality under which sexual orientation is an immutable, unchosen, and benign characteristic. Both pro-family and pro-gay organizations believe that to define homosexuality is to control its legal and political status. This sometimes bitter debate regarding the nature of same-sex desire might seem like an exceedingly contemporary development. However, the ex-gay media blitz of 2000 represents only the latest …


Revisiting Gay Rights Coalition Of Georgetown Law Center V. Georgetown University A Decade Later: Free Exercise Challenges And The Nondiscrimination Laws Protecting Homosexuals, Matthew J. Parlow Dec 1999

Revisiting Gay Rights Coalition Of Georgetown Law Center V. Georgetown University A Decade Later: Free Exercise Challenges And The Nondiscrimination Laws Protecting Homosexuals, Matthew J. Parlow

Matthew Parlow

Using the controversial 1987 case between Georgetown University and a gay and lesbian student organization as a backdrop, this article analyzes the free exercise rights of religiously-affiliated colleges and universities and their ability to discriminate against gay and lesbian student groups. The article tracks the jurisprudential development of free exercise challenges and details why current United States Supreme Court precedent provides little protection for such colleges and universities. Given the weakened state of free exercise rights, this article examines what rights and protections, if any, gays and lesbians have under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause and local and state …


Same-Sex Domestic Violence, Nancy J. Knauer Jan 1999

Same-Sex Domestic Violence, Nancy J. Knauer

Nancy J. Knauer

Same-sex domestic violence is a difficult topic. The LGBT communities have been reluctant to discuss same-sex domestic violence for fear of validating negative stereotypes and detracting from the push for legal recognition of such relationships. The relative silence on this issue continues despite the fact that individuals in same-sex relationships are more likely to be abused by their partners than beaten in an act of anti-gay violence. and despite legislative efforts to restrict domestic violence laws to cover only different-sex couples. The political downside of discussing same-sex domestic violence is obvious. Anti-gay organizations invoke same-sex domestic violence to bolster their …


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 …