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POLSC432: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Unit 8: Civil Rights: The Struggle for Gay Rights   The most contemporary civil rights issue in the United States is the quest for equality based on sexuality. This controversial issue has become extremely salient and has been central to national political debate. It has driven recent electoral outcomes. Not only has it had electoral consequences but the judicial attention has been important for defining the broader court interpretation of how to apply federalism. This unit includes material that will cover this historical struggle from multiple perspectives. The material focuses on the social movement, the legislation, and the prominent court cases. 

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 14 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 9 hours
☐    Subunit 8.2: 4 hours
☐    Subunit 8.3: 1 hour

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  - Discuss the historical context of the struggle for gay rights. - Explain the nature of the Bill of Rights as related to sexual orientation. - Analyze the landmark court cases dealing with gay rights. - Discuss the potential future of gay rights.

 

8.1 Historical Context   - Reading: Hathi Trust Digital Library: Ellen Ann Andersen’s “Out of the Closets and Into the Courts” Link: Hathi Trust Digital Library: Ellen Ann Andersen’s “Out of the Closets and Into the Courts” (HTML)  
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. You can use the arrows above the pages to move through the pages of this text. This reading provides a detailed history of the gay rights movement in the courts. This reading should take approximately 9 hours to complete. This text covers the topics in for all of subunit 8.1.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.1.1 Gay Rights in Early America   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.2 Sodomy Laws   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.3 The Stonewall Riots   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.4 The History of Domestic Partner Rights and Gay Marriage   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.1.5 Don’t Ask Don’t Tell   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading for subunit 8.1.

8.2 Landmark Court Cases   8.2.1 Bowers v. Hardwick   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Bowers v. Hardwick Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Bowers v. Hardwick Opinion” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2.2 Lawrence v. Texas   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Lawrence v. Texas Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Lawrence v. Texas Opinion” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Lawrence v. Texas (2003)” Link: PBS: Alex McBride’s “Lawrence v. Texas (2003)” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. Also read the links within the text. This reading provides a basic description of the case that lead to the ruling that state laws banning homosexual sodomy are unconstitutional. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2.3 Romer v. Evans   - Reading: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Romer v. Evans Opinion” Link: Findlaw: The U.S. Supreme Court’s “Romer v. Evans Opinion” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text linked above in its entirety. This reading provides the official opinion of the court. This reading should take approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3 Public Opinion and Gay Rights   - Reading: Directory of Open Access Journals: Essex Human Rights Review: Ahoura Afshar’s “The Anti-gay Movement in the United States: The Framing of Religion” Link: Directory of Open Access Journals:Essex Human Rights Review: Ahoura Afshar’s “The Anti-gay Movement in the United States: The Framing of Religion” (PDF)

 Instructions: On the webpage linked above, click on the “Full Text”
icon just above the article listing.  You will be directed to a PDF
of the article.  Please read the entire article (15 pages).  This
article discusses how a conservative Christian movement has opposed
the struggle for gay rights.  It should take about 1 hour to read.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.