LGBTQ Rights

This collection explores the past, present, and future of LGBTQ law, politics, and activism which seeks to ensure effective change in social policy and legal protection.

 

LGBTQ Rights

To celebrate the first full week of LGBTQ Pride Month, the Philosopher’s Eye has curated a special collection under the theme LGBTQ Rights. This collection explores the past, present, and future of LGBTQ law, politics, and activism which seeks to ensure effective change in social policy and legal protection. Enjoy this research freely through July 31, and don’t forget to comment and share below!

And, don’t forget to come back each Monday as we post think pieces from Wiley authors and LGBTQ advocates centered around a new theme. You’ll also get unlocked access to journal articles and book excerpts that examine the ethical, social, and philosophical issues faced by the LGBTQ community. Thanks for joining us as we continue the necessary conversation on LGBTQ rights, awareness, and support.


 

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Ancient Greek philosopher Plato is a celebrated figure in the LGBTQ community as it has long been thought that he was gay. Although Ancient Greeks forbid same-sex marriage, varying sexuality was commonly accepted.

“Comradeship” and “Friendship”:  Masculinity and Militarisation in German’s Homosexual Emancipation Movement after the First World WarGender & History | March 2011

The Transnational Homophile Movement and the Development of Domesticity in Mexico City’s Homosexual Community, 1930-70 Gender & History | October 2014

‘The Ultimate Extension of Gay Community’: Communal Living and Gay Liberation in the 1970s’ Gender & History | October 2015

Same-sex relationship escalation with uncertain marriage legality: Theory and empirical implications Southern Economic Association | April 2015

Are Gay Men and Lesbians Discriminated against in the Hiring Process?  Southern Economic Association | January 2013

When Faith Speech Turns to Gay Hate Speech Dialog | June 2010

As醠and Amen, Sister! Journal of Religious Ethics | April 2015

Hegel, recognition, and same-sex marriage Journal of Social Philosophy | June 2015

Kant, political liberalism, and the ethics of same-sex relations Journal of Social Philosophy | Fall 2001

Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Relationships: New Possibilities for Research on the Role of Marriage Law in Household Labor Allocation Journal of Family Theory & Review | March 2016

Living a Calling, Life Satisfaction, and Workplace Climate Among a Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Population The Career Development Quarterly | December 2015

Does Believing Homosexuality Is Innate Increase Support for Gay Rights? Policy Studies Journal | November 2009

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American poet Walt Whitman was openly gay and is photographed here with his much younger partner Bill Duckett.

Are Debates about “Morality Policy” Really about Morality? Framing Opposition to Gay and Lesbian Rights Policy Studies Journal | May 2011

Relational Comparison and LGBTQ Activism in European Cities International Journal of Urban and Regional Research | May 2014

A hegemon fighting for equal rights: the dominant role of COC Nederland in the LGBT transnational advocacy network Global Networks | April 2016

Organising the Hombre Nuevo Gay: LGBT Politics and the Second Sandinista Revolution Bulletin of Latin American Research | July 2014

Brokering Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Chilean Lawyers and Public Interest Litigation Strategies Bulletin of Latin American Research | October 2015

The Impact of Anti-Gay Politics on the LGBTQ Movement Sociology Compass | June 2016

Sexuality in Child Custody Decisions Family Court Review | April 2012

Multilevel analysis of the effects of antidiscrimination policies on earnings by sexual orientation Journal of Policy Analysis and Management | Spring 2012

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Noted activists Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny picket outside Independence Hall, Philadelphia in 1969.

The Effect of Requiring Private Employers to Extend Health Benefit Eligibility to Same-Sex Partners of Employees: Evidence from California Journal of Policy Analysis and Management | Spring 2013

Revisiting the Income Tax Effects of Legalizing Same-Sex Marriages Journal of Policy Analysis and Management | Spring 2014

Identity or Behavior: A Moral and Medical Basis for LGBTQ Rights Hastings Center Report | October 2014

Legal and Ethical Concerns about Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Hastings Center Report | October 2014

Reproduction and the LGBT Parent; a Changing Narrative

"Love Makes A Family"One historically important objection to gay and lesbians relationships is that they are inherently sterile and incapable of producing children. Many gay men, lesbians, and bisexual people have managed to have children anyway, through prior relationships, adoption and by relying on donated gametes and gestational surrogacy.  The prospect of synthetic gametes may lead to further options as well, if researchers can derive female gametes from men and male gametes from women.  With synthetic gametes, a same-sex couple would not need any third-party gamete donor in order to conceive a child. Inventive options are available for transgender people too. Some jurisdictions used to require evidence of sterility before re-categorizing people they treated as male to female, from female to male. Most jurisdictions no longer require sterilization that way, with the interesting result that some transgender men have gestated children.  Transgender women might in the future turn to uterus transplants in order to gestate children, if clinicians can replicate for them the 2014 success they had in securing a live birth for a woman who had a uterus transplant. Artificial gametes might also give transgender men and women the option of being genetic fathers and mothers to their children, respectively.  Nothing about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender by itself ‘turns off’ the interest in having children. In light of the options now available and of those on the horizon, the future for LGBT people is looking less and less ‘sterile’ all the time.

Timothy F. Murphy is a Professor of Philosophy in the Biomedical Sciences at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.  He is also an author with the Hastings Center Report, a prominent journal in biomedical ethics.

Read the collection of articles from the Hastings Center Report and other journals free through July 15th! Read Free

Closing the Question about Trans-Identities

3111086451_91879a4b16_oWas there ever a time in which a person could have argued for the moral acceptability of slavery without doing something gravely wrong in the very arguing? Maybe not, but it ever there were, it is now long, long, past; some questions are simply closed.

Questions about the validity of transpeople’s identities—of whether, e.g., transwomen are “really” women, eligible to apply to Smith College and to use women’s restroom, have been considered fair game since we emerged into public view. Whether expressed in academic prose, in political posturing, or in outright sneers, such questions are heard by many transpeople as profoundly disparaging, and sometimes menacing.

Yet if the tide of social attitudes and practices easing passages between genders keeps swelling, such debates might become as out of place as, say, a serious discussion about whether homosexuality is a mental illness. The sound you hear may be the closing of yet another question about how human beings may live together.

What I wonder about is this: in the time remaining before trans becomes just another way of having a gender, as, say, adoption is just another way of becoming a parent, is there anything that need not be disparaging, that might actually be helpful, to be said? Might it be good for transpeople to take a moment to think about whether their own understandings and practices might sometimes be politically retrograde, or to have some insight into the challenge their lives pose to how cisgender people now have to reimagine themselves?

Jamie Lindemann Nelson

The Hastings Center Report

Professor at Michigan State University

Contextualizing the LGBT Patient in the Health Care System

clinician and medical recordsThe Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding, recommends that data on sexual orientation and gender identify be collected and included among other demographic information  routinely stored in patients’ electronic health records. The intent of the IOM recommendation is to improve clinical care and to facilitate research that can address health inequalities among LGBT persons. The reality is that many LGBT persons remain reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity, or have that information documented in the electronic health record – even when sexual orientation or gender identity is material to a medical  diagnosis or treatment. This reluctance should be contextualized within the backdrop of a health care system where many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons have had negative, invalidating or discriminatory experiences when attempting to access health care, during their care or treatment, or during the care and treatment of a same-sex partner. As the Institute of Medicine observed, it is necessary to create a care environment in which individuals who have historically been stigmatized and discriminated against feel safe providing this information.  What steps can health care organizations take to demonstrate trustworthiness with respect to the collection and use of information related to sexual orientation or gender identify? Should clinicians’ elicit this information as a routine part of clinical care?

Mary Beth Foglia PhD MA

Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine

University of Washington – Seattle

Editor and author for The Hastings Center Report

Diane Sawyer’s Interview with Bruce Jenner: What Were Its Lessons?

319px-Diane_Sawyer_2011_ShankboneDiane Sawyer’s April 24, 2015 ABC News interview with Bruce Jenner drew 16.9 million total viewers. The interview was deemed highly anticipated, as the American public, via media reports, expected to hear comments regarding Jenner’s gender identity. During the two-hour block of time, viewership increased as the interview unfolded. Jenner had been in the public eye for several decades, first as an Olympic champion in the 1970s and more recently as a reality television show regular on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In a sense, Americans thought they knew much about Jenner leading up to this interview; however, they would learn more, such as the fact that Jenner considers himself Republican and Christian.

In reports following the event, CNBC described the two hours as “moving, touching, and affirming” and referred to Jenner as “humble, personable, and flawed.” LGBTQ advocates were generally pleased with the interview, noting that it represented an “accurate portrayal of what it means to be transgender” and did not cater to sensationalism (The Advocate). Trans woman and star of Orange is the New Black, Laverne Cox, offered caution in pointing out that Jenner’s story is “very specific” in that “most trans people don’t have that kind of privilege.” Indeed, violence against trans people, including murder, is endemic in the United States, especially for trans women of color.

Taking Cox’s point that much privilege is embedded within Jenner’s life and story (such that he is not like most trans people), and at the same time, the interview received an overall positive reception in casting Jenner as an everyday and relatable person (via descriptors such as “accurate,” “humble,” and “flawed”), what was the take-away from this interview for most American viewers? In particular, what were its lessons regarding trans experiences and identities?

Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo
Washington State University
Hypatia

We encourage you to share your thoughts and comments below. Please also read our free special collection of articles on LGBT studies now through July.

Ageing into Lesbian-Feminism – An Excerpt from a Life

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It was 1969, I was just 12 years old, and Stonewall had not yet happened. My best friend Linda and I hung out at the local schoolyard wearing army jackets with male names emblazoned on the pocket. She was not just my friend, though I had no name for what we were.

When I smacked a boy upside the head who tried to grab my breasts, the home economics teacher said if I couldn’t stop acting like that no boy would ever marry me. I had no vision of what life could be without marrying a boy and gay marriage was still an oxymoron; I decided that marriage was a trap that I would never willingly step into. I mostly still think that.

I discovered feminism with an insatiable hunger. I read every book, bought every woman’s music album and joined consciousness raising groups, and coming out groups.

Today my female students often insist they are not feminists. My feminism is quaint to them, not the radical edge of human transformation, but nostalgia from a bygone generation. In their eyes I am a woman who still thinks that gender matters. Of course they believe in equal rights and equal pay for equal work. Of course they think that “girls” should go to college and become doctors. Their definition of feminism is: a woman who hates men. I try to explain that it was actually men who hated women, and we rebelled, us feminists. I tell them that all they have in their lives today is the fruits of a movement that women planted with our own hands, the soil was our very bodies. Gender, I insist, still matters.

The lesbian-feminist community that reared me does not exist anymore. The small coffee houses, the sense of commonality are relics of another day. Partially the movement that was, has been absorbed into the larger LGBTQQI-alphabet soup movement for queer civil rights. Partially it became transformed into academic women’s studies programs. Partially it has been co-opted, sold out to the dazzle of consumer capitalism and the lure of romantic security, represented by gay business and gay marriage. A friend smiles and says, “We really thought we could change the world,” and I remind her: we did. We changed the world.

I work for transgender rights and argue queer theory, and insist that it is feminism which was the mother of these freedoms. I give credit to women’s liberation for not only changing my world, but for changing the whole world, for starting a dialogue about rethinking gender that continues on today. Like all important tasks, dismembering patriarchy is the work of my many lifetimes.

I am nearly a crone now — more than half a century on this blessed planet, and I’m still doing my work. I still devour feminist books, but I do not allow feminism to devour me. I am critical of some of what has been done in the name of feminism, but I will not let other women define feminism for me, or dictate which acts of mine are feminist and which are colonized. I keep insisting that feminism is not a dirty word, but is a movement that has made possible all that has come since.

I embrace the queer youth of today, and I know they can do what they are doing precisely because we did the work of feminism. I plan to get old, grow my facial hair, get another tattoo, and wear bright red lipstick. Feminism has given me the freedom to be fully myself.

By Arlene Istar Lev LCSW, CASAC

Arlene Istar Lev is a social worker, family therapist, activist, and mother. She is the Founder of Choices Counseling and Consulting (www.choicesconsulting.com), and The Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity and Sexuality (TIGRIS – www.tigrisinstitute.com). She can be reached at 518-438-2222 or Arlene@choicesconsulting.com.

We encourage you to read more on LGBT and family/child ethics with our special collection here on the blog and to comment below.

Bruce Jenner and the Aging Celebrity

Bruce JennerBruce Jenner’s gender transition has been the subject of obsessive media attention for some months now, culminating in Diane Sawyer’s interview of him on the ABC news show 20/20.  In a poignant exchange, Jenner declared that the gods had given him the soul of a woman as a cosmic joke. Much has been written on importance of Jenner’s revelation for the acceptance of transgendered people, but the interview also gives a fascinating glimpse into aging celebrity.
In the age of film and photograph, celebrities were trapped like flies in amber, caught in an eternal moment of youth, beauty, glamor and talent.   When a Daily Mail journalist recently asked Bridget Bardot, one of the most beautiful women of her generation, how she differed from Marilyn Monroe, she said, “We were both victims of our image which imprisoned us.”  Aging has never been kind to celebrities, especially women who have been frozen by the photograph and the movie still.
Transitioning to female at sixty-five, Jenner has the ability to revise the archive of his past images.  In the ABC interview, we are presented with a photo album of Jenner’s life, from his childhood on.   Some of these are candid and private; others are old media images. Footage of Jenner’s great 1976 Olympic achievements scroll by, as Sawyer narrates the meaning of his former media embodiment as “the muscle and glory of America.”   All of these images are subject to a massive emotional overhaul, as Jenner tearfully talks about his inner feelings of experiencing another identity, one quite different than the hypermasculine “world’s greatest athlete” of a former life.
Astonishing is the new intimacy of celebrity that we now witness over entire lifetimes.  Celebrity is no longer a fixed gaze, but an immersive experience that demands understanding of change and reflection on the cosmic joke of our own aging. As we watch other celebrities age, how will these reflections expand and deepen?

Ann Larabee, Editor

Journal of Popular Culture

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