Legal Inversions: Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Politics of the Law
Publication Year: 1995
Published by: Temple University Press
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OUR primary acknowledgment is to our contributors. We thank them all for agreeing to contribute and for producing such superb essays. We also wish to acknowledge the Keele University Law Department for its support of our research . Thanks also to Davina Cooper for all her help. A great debt is owed to Doris Braendel of Temple University Press, who has provided this project with unqualified support, even when it was ...
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This book can be viewed as part of the recent explosion of lesbian and gay studies, which in most if not all academic disciplines has emerged as one of the most vibrant areas of scholarship. Yet until recently the legal discipline has lagged behind in this development. While law reform struggles have always been a part of the grassroots lesbian and ...
PART I: The Subjects of Law
ONE: THE HOMOSEXUALIZATION OF ENGLISH LAW
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ON THE first of November 1953 the editor of the London Sunday Times directed the attention of readers to "A Social Problem." The specific topic was male homosexuality. The problem was said to be evidenced in a dramatic growth in the number of prosecutions and convictions of men for buggery, gross indecency, and the offence importuning of ...
TWO: THE IRISH SUPREME COURT AND THE CONSTITUTION OF MALE HOMOSEXUALITY
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In many Western societies, same-sex erotic activity is problematized in moral, legal, and medical discourse at several sites, such as education, health, employment, and sexual activity itself. In that final locus it is described as "homosexuality," a word of recent provenance linked to a concept that is equally recent.1 During earlier times there were ...
THREE: HOMOSEXUAL UNMODIFIED: SPECULATIONS ON LAW'S DISCOURSE, RACE, AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUAL IDENTITY
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As they have done for many years, in 1994 lesbians and gays1 once again took to the streets of New York City to mark yet another Gay Pride Day. In some respects the 1994 parade was indistinguishable from those of years past . The usual array of leather men, queens, butches, and femmes were in evidence, and once again the same political tensions concerning the purpose of the march and the direction ...
PART II: The Implications of Strategy
FOUR: FAMILIAL DISPUTES? SPERM DONORS, LESBIAN MOTHERS, AND LEGAL PARENTHOOD
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THESE are the words of Judge Edward M. Kaufmann in Thomas S. v. Robin Y., a case in which a gay sperm donor (Thomas S.) sought an order of filiation and visitation, a challenge successfully resisted by the ...
FIVE: A PARENT(LY) KNOT: CAN HEATHER HAVE TWO MOMMIES?
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There is a children's book entitled Heather Has Two Mommies. It is the story of a little girl whose parents are a lesbian couple-Kate and Jane; Kate is a doctor, and Jane is a carpenter. Kate and Jane are blissfully happy, but they want to have a child in their lives. Following a joint decision, Jane becomes pregnant through alternative insemination, ...
SIX: ENVISIONING A LESBIAN EQUALITY JURISPRUDENCE
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LESBIAN legal theory is appearing in academic literature in Canada, the United States, and Britain. This relatively new area of scholarship includes the work of some legal theorists who are attempting to develop a lesbian equality jurisprudence. This involves an investigation into the nature of lesbian oppression, how it is experienced by lesbians, and how it can and should be framed in legal terms. It also involves a ...
PART III: Law Reform, Struggle, and the State
SEVEN: SEX, LIES, AND CIVIL RIGHTS: A CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS GAY CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
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No HISTORY is purely descriptive. Even the most committed phenomenologist must make decisions about what will be reported, about what counts as relevant, and about what will be treated as insignificant. Moreover, the very process of compiling information-particularly conducting interviews with participants in the historical processes under investigation-can alter the way in which participants in those ...
EIGHT: GETTING "THE FAMILY RIGHT" : LEGISLATING HETEROSEXUALITY IN BRITAIN, 1986-91
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In March 1991 the British press exploded with a story that was to occupy the mass media for days. It concerned the provision by clinics of anonymous donor insemination services to women described as virgins. At the controversy's outset, it was unclear whether these so-called virgins were heterosexual or lesbian . Nevertheless, it did not ...
NINE: CONVICTIONS: THEORIZING LESBIANS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
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THOSE of us engaged in the practice of lesbian legal theorizing have been disinclined to address the multitude of issues provoked by the lesbian as criminal defendant. In the explidtly sexual context, the dominant assumption has been that lesbians were rarely, if ever, prosecuted for sexual crimes; I have elsewhere argued that this assumption is mistaken.1 ...
TEN: PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS, GAY MEN, AND LESBIANS: SHIFTING IDENTITIES, SHIFTING PRIORITIES
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It is difficult to describe the endless, relentless impact AIDS has had on the lives of gay men. It is now hard to recall how we lived before AIDS; many gay men today have never known a time free of a constant threat of illness and death. Although AIDS continues to profoundly affect gay men, along with the many lesbians and others who joined in the struggle against this disease, in the Western world the impact and meaning ...
ABOUT THE EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
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Publication Year: 1995