History 4321/CS 401

The Law, Family, and Same Sex Issues

November 23, 2005


I. Children as a Political Issue

1. Michigan Decisions (distinction between Gratz and Grutter; future legal course)


2. Youth Issues and Politics (changing political culture; changing nature of successful candidates; Gingrich and effect on politics)


3. Supreme Court (Lopez, Ashcroft, and Court limitations on other branches)


4. Sommers [continued from last time] (Gilligan and 1970s feminism; Ed programs and common assumptions; Manhattan Institute, AEI, and neoconservative critique; statistical trends; responses)


II. Background

            1. Gay Rights as Issue (anti-discrimination—Anita Bryant fight, Milk assassination and emergence of Feinstein; AIDS, public health, and mainstreaming of issue; gays and Democratic Party—role of Clinton; gays in the military debate and origins of don’t ask/don’t tell)


            2. Legal Challenges (sodomy campaign and path to Bowers; gay marriage issue—significance of Sullivan; Hawaii and Alaska decisions, state constitutional amendments; 1994 elections and path to DOMA)


III. Gay Rights and Family Law

1. The Jurisprudence of Anthony Kennedy (Kennedy nomination and background; Amendment 2, Colorado, and Romer; Kennedy vs. Scalia, logic of decision; 1st amendment and right to discriminate—St. Patrick’s Day, Boy Scouts [Dale case]; Texas v. Lawrence and breadth of decision)


2. Marriage (Human Rights Campaign and coordination of legal strategy; role of state constitutions; Vermont effort, Supreme Court, and Dean reaction; civil unions and political backlash; path to Goodridge; Massachusetts reaction; national reaction—Oregon, New York, San Francisco; national backlash—state constitutional amendments, Bush 2004 campaign)


3. Redefining Family Law (Anita Bryant and gay adoption issue—Florida law; adoption issue and debates over psychological studies; changing national attitudes; generational gap?; legal and political strategies; federalism)