Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, April 13, 2020

McClain: "Who's the Bigot: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law"

Professor Linda C. McClain (BU) has recently published her book Who's the Bigot: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law.  The book:

  • Shows similarities and differences in moral and constitutional controversies over interfaith, interracial, and same-sex marriage
  • Uses many historical sources (e.g., sermons, official statements by religious denominations, political speeches, legislative testimony, arguments in legal briefs) to illustrate different, but recurring, ways people have used the language of bigotry in defending or opposing racial desegregation (after Brown v. Board (1954) and then in supporting or opposing what became the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Shows how both the theology of segregation and the theology of integration appealed to scripture, conscience, science, and American political and constitutional ideals
  • Examines the role that the scientific study of prejudice played in grounding civil rights laws, since one premise of that study was law ("stateways") could and should change "folkways" (patterns of prejudice and discrimination)

It is available at Oxford University Press here and Amazon here.

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