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Sexual Orientation & the Law Research Guide   Tags: civil rights, employment discrimination, family law, lgbt, sexual orientation  

Last Updated: Sep 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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"Sexual Orientation and the Law" encompasses several legal subjects - civil rights, criminal law, employment law, immigration, family law - as well as interdisciplinary topics in medicine, psychology, and social sciences.

You should note that state and local laws may provide greater rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) people than federal law.  For example, currently, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PL 88-352), pertaining to employment discrimination, construes "sex" as gender, not sexual orientation.  However, it is generaly recognized that "gender" can encompass sex-based stereotypes.  Some states and municipalities specifically include sexual orientation as a protected class for employment discrimination purposes.

Legislative history documents - such as Committee Hearings and House and Senate Reports - can be great sources for material relating to pending or passed LGBT rights legislation.  See the Legislative History Research Guide for information on these documents and how to find them.

[Photo by Benson Kua on Flickr.]

CALI Lesson

  • Same-Sex Relationships  Icon
    Ruthann Robson. "Addresses the legal ramifications of same-sex relationships, stresses comprehension of the arguments regarding the opposite sex requirement for marriage, and includes the various schemes states have used to address the controversies." Also "contains material relating to transgendered individuals who marry and international perspectives." Updated through 4/15/09.

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