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Courts Liberalism And Rights Gay Law And Politics In The United States and Canada by Jason A. Pierceson

Courts Liberalism And Rights Gay Law And Politics In The United States and Canada

Part of the Queer Politics Queer Theories Series


Courts Liberalism And Rights Gay Law And Politics In The United States and Canada by Jason A. Pierceson

In the courts, the best chance for achieving a broad set of rights for gays and lesbians lies with judges who view liberalism as grounded in an expansion of rights rather than a constraint of government activity. At a time when most gay and lesbian politics focuses only on the issue of gay marriage, Courts, Liberalism, and Rights guides readers through a nuanced discussion of liberalism, court rulings on sodomy laws and same-sex marriage, and the comparative progress gays and lesbians have made via the courts in Canada. As debates continue about the ability of courts to affect social change, Jason Pierceson argues that this is possible. He claims that the greatest opportunity for reform via the judiciary exists when a judiciary with broad interpretive powers encounters a political culture that endorses a form of liberalism based on broadly conceived individual rights; not a negative set of rights to be held against the state, but a set of rights that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.


This is an excellent analysis of many of the legal issues dealing with sodomy and same-sex marriages, and helps to explain why they have developed in the way that they have. The material is theoretically rich and grounded in diverse literature. -Richard Pacelle, Georgia Southern University Pierceson has written an engaging book that should appeal to a broad array of readers. It lucidly explores issues of public law, comparative politics, political culture, liberal political theory, and institutionalism. -Evan Gerstmann, Loyola Marymount University Courts, Liberalism, and Rights is passionate scholarship at its best. It is a thoughtful defense of judicial activism to protect the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. This book should be required reading for every member of Congress and the Executive Branch concerned about 'judicial activism.' -Michael Mello, Vermont Law School, and author of Legalizing Gay Marriage

About the Author

Jason Pierceson is Assistant Professor of Political and Legal Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st October 2005


Jason A. Pierceson

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Temple University Press,U.S.


264 pages


Gay & Lesbian studies
Sociology: family & relationships
Laws of Specific jurisdictions



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