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Future JD Students

LGBT Survey Results: The Florida State University College of Law

Nondiscrimination Policy

Florida State University encourages applications for admission from qualified students regardless of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected group status in accordance with all pertinent federal, state, and local laws on nondiscrimination and equal opportunity.

LGBT Student Organization(s)

OUTLaw seeks to provide a platform for all students to learn about the legal issues facing LGBT people. OUTLaw sponsors events throughout the year to increase awareness of issues and to foster discussion of the current state of LGBT law at the national, state, and local levels. OUTLaw is committed to working with allied organizations on campus to better the Florida State community and ensure that LGBT students are treated with the same respect as the student body as a whole. OUTLaw also exists to help students connect with the LGBT community in Tallahassee. We welcome and encourage all law students to join OUTLaw, regardless of orientation and gender.

For more information, contact:

Student Affairs

Robert Atkinson
Coadvisor and Professor
Phone: 850.644.4503

Courtney Cahill
Coadvisor and Professor
Phone: 850.644.9028

LGBT Faculty

Courtney Cahill
Phone: 850.644.9028

LGBT Administrator(s)

Lauren Kelly-Manders
Externship Program Associate
Phone: 850.644.1432

LGBT Course(s)

The following courses are offered every year.

Reproduction, Gender, and Sexuality (3 credits)

Since the 1960s, law has redefined the meaning of and relationship between sexuality and reproduction. Prior to the late twentieth century, Americans assumed that gender, parenthood, and sexuality were fixed, existing independently of political contests, social-movement struggles, and legal change. The following decades called all of these assumptions into question.

This course explores how law constructs, undermines, and transforms sexuality, gender, and reproduction. Legal rules help to distinguish intimate, protected sexual activity from criminal conduct. Law also helps determine whether and how sexuality defines individual identity as well as the boundary between the public and private world. In regulating gender, law mirrors and modifies contested ideas about whether gender is natural, fictitious, or cultural. Legal rules dictate who counts as a parent and why, exposing the importance of genetics, daily work, intent, and gender. Significantly, law also defines the relationship between and comparative constitutional value of reproduction and sexuality.

The course examines not only how law mediates struggles over reproduction and sexuality but also how those struggles tell a deeper story about how and why legal change occurs. To what extent does the law reflect majority views of right and wrong in this context? To what degree does it track movement-countermovement disputes? What relationship should law have to changes to the larger society?

We will explore the law of sexuality and reproduction by reading relevant case law, scholarly analysis, and historical background. Every week, students will complete a brief response paper on the reading. Over the course of the semester, each student will conduct original research on a topic of his or her choosing. At the end of the semester, we will workshop the papers together, providing feedback to each author. Successful completion of the course will allow you to meet the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

Employment Discrimination (3 credits)

Review of various statutes and executive orders governing employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, and sexual preference. Emphasis is on the policy implications derived from case analysis.

Family Law (3 credits)

Legal relations and problems incident to the creation, preservation, and dissolution of the family unit. The course includes marital affairs and actions, adoption, child custody, and criminal and tortious conduct pertaining to domestic relations. Emphasis is placed on possible conflicts between the interests of the state in this area and the private interests of the individuals concerned.

Sexuality and the Law (2 credits)

This course will explore the relationship among sexuality, gender, and the law on both a theoretical and a practical level. The first four weeks will explore the definition of sexuality/sexual orientation as well as the basis for laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender nonconformity. Weeks 1–4 will ask the question, “What is a sexual orientation?” and will explore, respectively, gender/race parallels to sexual orientation, bisexuality, polyamory/polygamy, and transgenderism/gender nonconformity. Week 5 will look more closely at the interrelationship among sexuality, disgust, and the law, and at what sustains laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.

The remainder of this course will be divided according to major substantive areas of the law, including

  • the legal regulation of nontraditional sexuality, intimate relationships (marriage), and familial structures;
  • sexuality, the First Amendment, and the conflict between liberty (e.g., free speech, free exercise of religion) and equality (e.g., antidiscrimination) guarantees under the law; and
  • gender, sexuality, and employment discrimination (Title VII).

We will likely spend at least two weeks on the movement for marriage equality, one week on the normative critique of the marriage equality movement, one week on family formation (assisted reproduction/artificial insemination), and two weeks on the First Amendment. That leaves two more weeks. For one of those weeks we’ll read Kenji Yoshino’s very important book, Covering. The last week is still to be determined.

Domestic-Partner or Same-Sex Marriage Benefits

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