Race, Gender, & Sexual Orientation



Sexual orientation, race, and gender represent some of the most powerful aspects of our social identities. They simultaneously tie us to millions of others while also letting us stand out in spaces where minorities are underrepresented. In American law, we generally - but unequally - proscribe discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, or gender. These differences in how we consider discrimination are based on courts and lawmakers' differing assumptions about the social status of minorities along these axes and their relationship to white people, straight people, and men, respectively. In this course, we will uncover the relationships between social identity and legal status, understand the pertinent legal histories that make up anti-discrimination law, apply intersectionality to complicate our understanding, and imagine alternative anti-discrimination schemes that bring liberation to sexual, racial, and gender minorities instead of nominal protection. By the end of this course, students will have a deep and nuanced comprehension of anti-discrimination law and the importance of social identities in the continuing fight for civil rights.