LGBTQ+ Rights in an Age of Religious Exemption

LGBTQ+ Rights in an Age of Religious Exemption

  • Course Number: LAW-424
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized
  • Credits: 2
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description:

    This seminar will explore the evolution of LGBTQ+ rights in the United States with an emphasis on the intersection of civil rights and religious exemption claims. We will center the legal issues relevant to people who are transgender, gender non-conforming, Two-Spirit, intersex, BIPOC, youth, and/or part of other marginalized communities. The course will consider the influence and limitations of the constitutional doctrines of substantive due process and equal protection, as well as the significance of federal executive and regulatory action, in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ people in several areas, including healthcare, education, employment, child welfare, the juvenile and criminal legal systems, and immigration. We will also consider marriage and family law, including emerging protections for multiple partner families (e.g. polyamorous and other consensually non-monogamous relationships). Throughout the course, we will also explore legal battles over religious exemption and free exercise claims made in response to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights.

    Readings and Participation: Readings will average about 40 pages per week. Students will be expected to have read the assigned readings and come to class prepared to discuss and critically analyze what they have read. Students should bring one discussion question (i.e., a question designed to facilitate discussion) about the assigned reading to class each day. Readings and participation will account for 30 percent of the grade.

    Current events: During each class, one or two students will give a brief (i.e., three to five minute) presentation about a newspaper, magazine, or other article describing a current event that relates to the themes of the class. A short paper (3-5 pages) as a substitute for a class presentation will be permitted. Current events presentations/papers will account for 10 percent of the grade.

    Final Assignment: At the end of the term, students will be required to write a final substantive research paper of 15-20 pages (with presentation to the class) or 20-25 pages (without presentation to the class). This final paper and/or presentation will constitute 60 percent of the grade for the course.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Class participation, presentation/paper, and a final paper
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no