Course description

This course will explore how American law and policy have confronted and continue to confront issues of sexuality. The focus will primarily be on how law and policy treat lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. While 2015 brought marriage equality and 2020 brought federal protections in employment, the fight for full LGBTQ equality continues. The class will discuss this fight’s legal history and current status. Current debates, Constitutional and otherwise, will also be explored around topics such as the First Amendment and LGBTQ family formation. The potential effects that the 2022 abortion rights decision may have on LGBTQ rights will also be addressed. This course will provide a grounding in the contours of current sexuality law and policy while delving into some emerging areas that remain ripe for new policy formation. Students will also learn how to read and brief legal opinions. The class will be taught primarily through a legal lens. Still, prior legal education or experience is neither required nor expected. The course will be taught through a hybrid combination of lecture and seminar-style discussion and a few guest speakers directly involved in the debate.

We will use the Canvas course site for all aspects of this online course. Students must regularly check the Canvas course site for announcements and assignments. Updates to assignments and the syllabus will be posted on the Canvas course site. To ensure you receive the maximum credit for your work, follow any instructions, rubrics, templates, or guidelines that you are provided.

Outcome 1: Students will explain and apply the fundamental principles of the law as they impact LGBTQ lives. These include constitutional doctrines (e.g., liberty, equality, expression, and religious exercise), nondiscrimination (in employment, healthcare, and school), and family law.

Outcome 2: Students will describe the history of LGBTQ efforts toward achieving legal rights and some of the theoretical, political, and social implications of these efforts.

Outcome 3: Students will interpret the evolution of judicial understandings of sexual orientation and gender identity over time.

No upcoming classes were found.

Previously offered classes

The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time.