February 6, 2010
Separate showers? Exploring the reasons behind the Pentagon's slow-walking of the DADT repeal
NPR explores why the Pentagon claims it will take a year to study the impact of ending discrimination against gay soldiers. An opponent of ending the ban, a former commandant of the Marine Corps, appears to admit that the much-cited problems of "morale" and "unit cohesion" are not about gay soldiers per se, but rather about the reactions to gay soldiers by troublesome homophobes in the ranks: "What you would see is personnel turbulence," he says. "There would be some who would resist it very actively, and you have to deal with them. You might have good troops who say, 'I'm just not going to live in that barracks with him,' and then you have to decide what to do."
February 5, 2010
CA bill would underscore distinction between civil and religious marriage
Our colleague Ruthann Robson at Conlawprof Blog reports on a bill introduced in California that would "divorce religion from marriage under California's statutes." According to the Bay Area Reporter, the bill seeks to emphasize that faith leaders do not face penalties if they refuse to marry same-sex couples. The legislation also clarifies that any church that does not sanction same-sex marriages would not lose its tax-exempt status.
Shouldn't all this really be apparent already? The difference between civil and religious marriage usually seems lost mostly on those who cite religious objections for opposing same-sex marriage. It remains to be seen whether the bill will do anything to deter the misrepresentations about religion and marriage that opponents of marriage equality steadfastly propound.
Williams Institute/UCLA law review conference on sexuality and gender law
The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, together with the UCLA Law Review, will present its 9th annual conference, this one titled "Sexuality and Gender Law: Assessing the Field, Envisioning the Future," Feb. 19-20. This year's conference features a truly all-star lineup of speakers and panelists. Admission to the conference is free, though a charge applies for participants seeking CLE. Here is the conference description:
Both in scholarship and in judicial opinions, issues related to sexuality and gender constitute one of the most dynamic and vibrant fields in American law. Yet there has been no sustained examination of the field itself and of its importance to constitutional theory more generally. This conference will bring together leading scholars from both inside and outside the field to reflect on how sexuality and gender has changed the law, and how the field itself is likely to change.
February 3, 2010
Reproductive and Sexual Rights Conference at NYU Feb. 12
More information here.
Whittier Study Abroad Program
View the attached flier regarding Whittier Law School's Sexual Orientation and the Law Curriculum as part of the Summer Abroad Program in Santander, Spain.
Color commentary on the DADT hearing and a short history of gays in the military
The NYT piece on the Senate hearings yesterday shows that 1) chairman of the joint chiefs Mullen (who was originally appointed by President Bush) caught everyone by surprise with his unambiguous position that DADT is harmful and should be ended; 2) nonetheless, Defense Secretary Gates seems determined to slow-walk any change in the policy; and 3) John McCain has flip-flopped and abandoned his earlier pledge to follow the advice of military leaders like Adm. Mullen.
February 1, 2010
Interesting Piece on the Evolution of the American FamilyTitle: The Evolution of the American Family
This short piece examines the changing meaning of marriage and the family in the U.S. Among other developments, the piece chronicles: the changing role and legal status of women in marriage; race restrictions in marriage; the legal recognition of same-sex relationships; and the increasing numbers of nonmarital families. The article is the lead piece in the Summer 2009 issue of the ABA Human Rights magazine devoted to the New American Family.