Gaylaw / Edition 1

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Overview


This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal issues concerning gender and sexual nonconformity in the United States. Part One, which covers the years from the post-Civil War period to the 1980s, is a history of state efforts to discipline and punish the behavior of homosexuals and other people considered to be deviant. During this period such people could get by only at the cost of suppressing their most basic feelings and emotions. Part Two addresses contemporary issues. Although it is no longer illegal to be openly gay in America, homosexuals still suffer from state discrimination in the military and in other realms, and private discrimination and violence against gays is prevalent. William Eskridge presents a rigorously argued case for the "sexualization" of the First Amendment, showing why, for example, same-sex ceremonies and intimacy should be considered "expressive conduct" deserving the protection of the courts. The author draws on legal reasoning, sociological studies, and history to develop an effective response to the arguments made in defense of the military ban. The concluding part of the book locates the author's legal arguments within the larger currents of liberal theory and integrates them into a general stance toward freedom, gender equality, and religious pluralism.
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Editorial Reviews

Legal Times

"Gaylaw is a panoramic exploration of the many issues that are now part of our public discourse about the place of homosexuals in American society. Eskridge is a leading "gaylegal" scholar, and this book is a thoughtful, insightful analysis not only of the country's changing mind-set about regulating same-sex attraction, but also of the constitutional bases for protecting sexual intimacy from state intrusion. He draws on many sources, and more than one-quarter of the book comprises supporting appendixes and endnotes. He has assembled comprehensive tables of statutory enactments and statistics about criminal arrests, military discharges, and other governmental enforcement efforts...Eskridge's book is a valuable contribution to the dialogue on this and a host of other questions our society will grapple with as the closet crumples and gay people press for equal standing in the eyes of the law."
— Patrick McGlone

Lesbian Review of Books

What Eskridge reveals in this monumental book is that the law has more often than not been used against gays and lesbians, as well as against all individuals who do not meet the moral ideals of the controlling puritanical mainstream...[His] text is replete with references to Mary MacIntosh, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick—not your average legal citations. Eskridge is at his best when he is engaged in legal analysis. His arguments are fine tuned, and his legislative history is thorough...The law does not exist in a vacuum; it rides the current of history and public policy. Gaylaw captures that ride. Eskridge provides a blueprint for possible arguments that may secure rights for gays and lesbians. Time and the whims of the courts will tell whether such arguments are persuasive. Certainly there are few other histories of 'gay rights' that are as complete and thorough as Gaylaw.
— Romilda Crocamo

Choice

"Eskridge provides an exhaustive account of the evolution of 20th-century American law as it pertained to gay people...[His] overriding purpose is to document a case for continued reforming of law, in the spirit of true liberalism, and to extend true equality to homosexuals. This landmark work belongs in all libraries."
— D. Q. Friedrichs

Legal Times - Patrick McGlone
Gaylaw is a panoramic exploration of the many issues that are now part of our public discourse about the place of homosexuals in American society. Eskridge is a leading "gaylegal" scholar, and this book is a thoughtful, insightful analysis not only of the country's changing mind-set about regulating same-sex attraction, but also of the constitutional bases for protecting sexual intimacy from state intrusion. He draws on many sources, and more than one-quarter of the book comprises supporting appendixes and endnotes. He has assembled comprehensive tables of statutory enactments and statistics about criminal arrests, military discharges, and other governmental enforcement efforts...Eskridge's book is a valuable contribution to the dialogue on this and a host of other questions our society will grapple with as the closet crumples and gay people press for equal standing in the eyes of the law.
Lesbian Review of Books - Romilda Crocamo
What Eskridge reveals in this monumental book is that the law has more often than not been used against gays and lesbians, as well as against all individuals who do not meet the moral ideals of the controlling puritanical mainstream...[His] text is replete with references to Mary MacIntosh, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick--not your average legal citations. Eskridge is at his best when he is engaged in legal analysis. His arguments are fine tuned, and his legislative history is thorough...The law does not exist in a vacuum; it rides the current of history and public policy. Gaylaw captures that ride. Eskridge provides a blueprint for possible arguments that may secure rights for gays and lesbians. Time and the whims of the courts will tell whether such arguments are persuasive. Certainly there are few other histories of 'gay rights' that are as complete and thorough as Gaylaw.
Choice - D. Q. Friedrichs
Eskridge provides an exhaustive account of the evolution of 20th-century American law as it pertained to gay people...[His] overriding purpose is to document a case for continued reforming of law, in the spirit of true liberalism, and to extend true equality to homosexuals. This landmark work belongs in all libraries.
Choice
"Eskridge provides an exhaustive account of the evolution of 20th-century American law as it pertained to gay people...[His] overriding purpose is to document a case for continued reforming of law, in the spirit of true liberalism, and to extend true equality to homosexuals. This landmark work belongs in all libraries."
— D. Q. Friedrichs
Legal Times
"Gaylaw is a panoramic exploration of the many issues that are now part of our public discourse about the place of homosexuals in American society. Eskridge is a leading "gaylegal" scholar, and this book is a thoughtful, insightful analysis not only of the country's changing mind-set about regulating same-sex attraction, but also of the constitutional bases for protecting sexual intimacy from state intrusion. He draws on many sources, and more than one-quarter of the book comprises supporting appendixes and endnotes. He has assembled comprehensive tables of statutory enactments and statistics about criminal arrests, military discharges, and other governmental enforcement efforts...Eskridge's book is a valuable contribution to the dialogue on this and a host of other questions our society will grapple with as the closet crumples and gay people press for equal standing in the eyes of the law."
— Patrick McGlone
Lesbian Review of Books
What Eskridge reveals in this monumental book is that the law has more often than not been used against gays and lesbians, as well as against all individuals who do not meet the moral ideals of the controlling puritanical mainstream...[His] text is replete with references to Mary MacIntosh, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick--not your average legal citations. Eskridge is at his best when he is engaged in legal analysis. His arguments are fine tuned, and his legislative history is thorough...The law does not exist in a vacuum; it rides the current of history and public policy. Gaylaw captures that ride. Eskridge provides a blueprint for possible arguments that may secure rights for gays and lesbians. Time and the whims of the courts will tell whether such arguments are persuasive. Certainly there are few other histories of 'gay rights' that are as complete and thorough as Gaylaw.
— Romilda Crocamo
Patrick McGlone
Gaylaw is a panoramic exploration of the many issues that are now part of our public discourse about the place of homosexuals in American society. Eskridge is a leading "gaylegal" scholar, and this book is a thoughtful, insightful analysis not only of the country's changing mind-set about regulating same-sex attraction, but also of the constitutional bases for protecting sexual intimacy from state intrusion. He draws on many sources, and more than one-quarter of the book comprises supporting appendixes and endnotes. He has assembled comprehensive tables of statutory enactments and statistics about criminal arrests, military discharges, and other governmental enforcement efforts...Eskridge's book is a valuable contribution to the dialogue on this and a host of other questions our society will grapple with as the closet crumples and gay people press for equal standing in the eyes of the law.
Romilda Crocamo
What Eskridge reveals in this monumental book is that the law has more often than not been used against gays and lesbians, as well as against all individuals who do not meet the moral ideals of the controlling puritanical mainstream...[His] text is replete with references to Mary MacIntosh, Michel Foucault, and Eve Sedgwick—not your average legal citations. Eskridge is at his best when he is engaged in legal analysis. His arguments are fine tuned, and his legislative history is thorough...The law does not exist in a vacuum; it rides the current of history and public policy. Gaylaw captures that ride. Eskridge provides a blueprint for possible arguments that may secure rights for gays and lesbians. Time and the whims of the courts will tell whether such arguments are persuasive. Certainly there are few other histories of 'gay rights' that are as complete and thorough as Gaylaw.
D. Q. Friedrichs
Eskridge provides an exhaustive account of the evolution of 20th-century American law as it pertained to gay people...[His] overriding purpose is to document a case for continued reforming of law, in the spirit of true liberalism, and to extend true equality to homosexuals. This landmark work belongs in all libraries.
Library Journal
Defining "gaylaw" as the ongoing history of judicial regulations regarding gender and sexual nonconformity, Eskridge (law, Yale Univ.) provides an exhaustive chronicle of legal constraints upon sexual orientation and gender status. The book opens with an overview of the post-Civil War treatment of people who violated societal norms of gender or sexuality. In this section, Eskridge emphasizes the dubious nature of statements claiming that the equality for sexual minorities would endanger majority values. Part 2 stresses why the legal perpetuation of "apartheid of the closet" demands re-evaluation. A prominent goal of the author's work is to develop a political and legal response to the judiciary's rejection of full rights of privacy, equality, and free speech under constitutional guidelines. Eskridge closes by vehemently arguing for the recognition of gays in families, employment, and religion. Copious appendixes detailing state and municipal regulations, statistics, and notes, bolster the research value of this volume. Highly recommended.--Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs., IN Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674008045
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 484
  • Product dimensions: 1.08 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William N. Eskridge, Jr. is Professor of Law at Yale Law School.
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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • I. The Apartheid of the Closet
    • Masquerade and the Law, 1880–1946
    • Kulturkampf and the Threatening Closet, 1946–1961
    • Coming Out and Challenging the Closet, 1961–1981


  • II. Remnants of the Closet (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)
    • Hardwick and Historiography
    • The Sexualized First Amendment
    • Multivocal Prejudices and Homo Equality


  • III. After the Closet: Queer Theory and the Sexual State
    • Sexual Consent Paradoxes
    • Beyond Families We Choose
    • Religion and Homosexuality: Equality Practice


  • Appendixes Regulating Sexual and Gender Variation in the United States
    • A. Early Municipal and State Regulation
      • State Consensual Sodomy Laws, 1610–1998
      • Municipal Sex Offense Ordinances, 1850–1950
      • State Criminal Laws Protecting the Sexuality of Male as Well as Female Minors, 1870–1970


    • B. Modern State and Municipal Regulation
      • State Sexual Psychopath Laws, 1935–1961
      • State and Municipal Laws against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, 1972–1998
      • State and Federal Policies Discriminating on the Basis of Sexual or Gender Variation, 1998


    • C. Statistics
      • Sodomy Arrests, Twelve American Cities, 1875–1965
      • Reported “Sodomy” Cases, 1880–1995
      • “Degenerates” Arraigned in New York City’s Magistrates’ Courts, 1915–1962
      • Sex Offense Arrests in St. Louis, 1874–1946
      • Military Personnel Discharged on Grounds of Homosexuality, 1947–1998
      • Sexual Outlaws Debarred from Entering the United States by Immigration Authorities, 1892–1956




  • Notes
  • Index

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