Gender & Sexuality in U.S. Policy Formation
The advancement of LGBTQ rights in the United States has experienced unprecedented success over the last twenty years, shifting both public attitude towards and legal protection for gay Americans. This graduate level course will provide an in-depth analysis of current LGBTQ policy achievements in the United States, including the recognition of marriage equality in all 50-states, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and increased anti-discrimination protections. Emphasis will be placed on how these victories were achieved, including background on the strategies and tactics used to generate results. We will also take a critical look at such milestones, and examine what they mean for the entire LGTBQ population, including queer people of color, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals, the disabled, and economically disadvantaged. Incorporated into this analysis will be readings from queer liberation scholars to help us evaluate the pros and cons of existing LGBTQ policy gains. The course will explore what full equality might look like for LGBTQ people in the United States with an examination of what can and cannot actually be achieved through policy. Practical application on how policy is made will be intertwined throughout the course, as will select comparative readings to understand how U.S. LGBTQ policy impacts queer populations around the world.