Article | Anti-discrimination LawThe Modern American Law of Raceby David E. Bernstein* From Vol. 94, No. 294 S. […]
In many ways, Michael C. Hughes is an average American family man. He is a middle-aged father of four from Rochester, Minnesota. He has been married to his wife for twelve years. He has a broad, muscular frame and is partial to cowboy hats and wide belt buckles. But Hughes is unlike the average American family man in one fundamental way: he was born biologically female. Hughes is one of the more than 1.4 million transgender adults in the United States, a small but increasingly visible group of people who are currently facing a unique legal battle to use restrooms and single-sex facilities that align with their gender identity.
Hughes garnered publicity with a viral photo taken in a public restroom, in protest of “bathroom bills”—laws that require Hughes to use women’s restrooms and facilities, despite his gender identity. “Bathroom bill” is the common name for legislation that prohibits individuals from using bathrooms (or other private, single-sex facilities like locker rooms) that do not match their biological sex or sex markers on their identification documents, depending on the bill. Posing in front of the bathroom mirror in a women’s restroom, as female patrons look on questioningly, Hughes “presents” as a male—making him appear out of place in the restroom that nonetheless matches his biological sex. Hughes’ photo and its accompanying hashtag, “#WeJustNeedtoPee,” went viral in 2016, reflecting Americans’ rapt attention on transgender issues.
This Article examines the social and legal status of “negative identity”—identity marked by indifference or antipathy to something that much of society considers fundamental. As examples of negative identity, the Article considers those who identify as atheist, asexual, single, or childfree.
The Article begins by giving content to negative identity. Atheist, asexual, single, and childfree identity consists of more than merely the respective lack of religion, sexual attraction, partnership, or children. Rather, these negative identities are meaningful to group members, add value to society, and thus deserve legitimacy and respect. Unfortunately, respect is not always forthcoming: negative identity group members experience significant animus, discrimination, and marginalization.
“There is a war against religion!” “Exemptions on religious groups undermine civil rights!” “Pluralism and tolerance are in jeopardy!” “Freedom for some ends up trumping freedom and equality for others!” Whether any of these individual statements is true, the rising claims of catastrophe by opposing groups across the United States prompted an intense and engaging conference, “Religious Accommodation in the Age of Civil Rights,” held at Harvard Law School on April 3–5, 2014, sponsored by Harvard Law School, the Williams Institute at the University of California in Los Angeles, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the University of Southern California Center for Law, History and Culture. Engaging and intense discussions among forty panelists and over 120 participants generated the articles presented in this issue as well as others filling special issues of two other journals. The focus on accommodations for religion reflects both increasing challenges to traditional denials of rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and religious objections to contraception and abortion. Clashes increase with political and legal advances in legal treatment of marriage equality for same-sex couples and expanding recognition of legal claims of businesses for freedom of speech and religion. Ongoing disagreements over the scope of existing and potential federal, state, and local antidiscrimination laws, health insurance requirements, and other general rules trigger political and social debates but also produce legal questions requiring answers.
This bibliography serves as the 2009–2011 update to Gerontology and the Law: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. First published in 1980 by Law Library Journal the bibliography has since been updated nine times between 1982 and 2010 in the Southern California Law Review. The original bibliography and the first five updates provided citations to a variety of books, articles, and other law related materials on various aspects of the law and gerontology. Starting with the sixth update, the style and content of the bibliography was changed in two ways: first, the bibliographers took a more selective approach in choosing resources to include and second, the bibliographers added annotations briefly describing the source after each citation.
Almost everyone in the United States is likely to experience or have experienced racial emotion in the workplace. One person feels uncomfortable making conversation with her coworkers of a different race for fear that she will use the wrong name or say something that is perceived as biased or offensive; another is anxious that his colleague will judge him as less intelligent than the whites on his team. One feels anger at the telling or emailing of a racial joke; another feels frustrated when a colleague raises concerns about bias during a postinterview debriefing. These emotions—and the behaviors that give rise to them and respond to them—are sometimes difficult to describe. We lack a language of racial emotion in the workplace, in no small part because many of us (especially whites) prefer not to see it. But racial emotion does exist, and we ignore it to the detriment not only of our individual relationships, but also of our visions and efforts for equality.
Michael P. Carney was a good cop. Since graduating from the police academy in 1982, he received numerous commendations for his outstanding work as a police officer and contributions to the community. He had been recognized for saving a man who had jumped from a bridge into the Connecticut River in a suicide attempt, apprehending a bank robber, and cofounding a youth mentorship program. He had worked as a police academy instructor, an aide to the chief of police, and a detective in the youth assessment center, the narcotics division, and the uniform division. But behind closed doors, he was tormented by the need to keep a secret for many years—Carney was gay.
For years Carney stayed in the closet out of fear of reprisal and being ostracized. He went to work every day afraid to talk about his personal life, including a date from the night before, his weekend, or his family. He went into every domestic or gun call thinking if he were gunned down, who would notify his life partner? Would his life partner learn of his death on the eleven o’clock news? How would his colleagues treat his life partner at his funeral? This fear led to years of isolation and heavy drinking, which took their toll; in 1989, beaten and defeated, Carney resigned from his post.
This bibliography serves as the 2006–2008 update to Gerontology and the Law: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. First published in 1980 by Law Library Journal, the bibliography has since been updated eight times between 1982 and 2007 in the Southern California Law Review. The original bibliography and the first five updates provided citations to a variety of books, articles, and other law-related materials on various aspects of the law and gerontology. Starting with the sixth update, the style and content of the bibliography was changed in two ways: first, the bibliographers took a more selective approach in choosing resources to include; and second, the bibliographers added annotations that briefly describe the source after each citation.
Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that amended the state constitution to deny marriage to same-sex couples, passed by a small margin in November 2008. The campaign was contentious, well funded by both sides, and the subject of much media attention. After Proposition 8 passed, however, the debate about same-sex marriage in California was far from over. Shortly after the election, Proposition 8 opponents organized protests against certain Proposition 8 supporters and their employers throughout California and in other states. For example, opponents protested at the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Los Angeles because the church and its members raised a significant amount of money to support Proposition 8. Opponents also organized boycotts of businesses whose owners or employees donated to support Proposition 8. Several of these protests had negative repercussions for donors. For example, following threats of boycotts of his musical works and his employer, Scott Eckern, the longtime artistic director of the California Musical Theater, resigned from his position after it was revealed that he donated $1000 to Proposition 8. Marc Shaiman, the composer of the music for Hairspray, told Eckern that he would not let his work be performed in the theater due to Eckern’s support for Proposition 8. U.S. law requires a secret ballot for both candidate and issue elections, so how did opponents of Proposition 8 identify the donors to Proposition 8? The answer lies in disclosure laws. In California, as in most states, campaigns must publicly disclose certain information about individuals who donate to a ballot measure or candidate. California’s Political Reform Act of 1974, as amended, provides that all campaign donations of $100 or more must be published on the Secretary of State’s website, allowing the public to easily search for the names of campaign donors online. Further, not only must the donor’s name and the amount of the contribution be disclosed, but the donor’s street address, occupation, and employer’s name—or, if self-employed, the name of the donor’s business—must also be disclosed. On the federal level, campaign contributions to federal candidates are also now easily accessible to the public online. Federal law requires disclosure of individuals who contribute $200 or more to a candidate. This information can be viewed online through the Federal Election Commission’s (“FEC’s”) website, as well as on other websites. Not only has technology increased the availability of donor information online, but political entrepreneurs have also taken the FEC’s campaign finance data and made it even more accessible online, allowing users to search the data by multiple categories. For example, the Huffington Post, a popular blog, runs a search engine called “Fundrace 2008,” which allows a user to search for donors to 2008 presidential candidates by a donor’s first or last name, address, city, or employer. The website boasts about the easy access to the political leanings of nearly anyone a user knows of: “Want to know if a celebrity is playing both sides of the fence? Whether that new guy you’re seeing is actually a Republican or just dresses like one?”
This bibliography serves as the 2002-2005 update to Gerontology and the Law: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. First published in 1980 by Law Library Journal, the bibliography has since been updated seven times between 1982 and 2001 in the Southern California Law Review. The original bibliography and the first five updates provide citations to a variety of books, articles, and other law related materials on various aspects of the law and gerontology. Starting with the sixth update, the style and content of the bibliography was changed in two ways: first, the bibliographers took a more selective approach in choosing resources to include and second, the bibliographers added descriptive annotations briefly describing the source after each citation.