This course will describe, analyze, and agonize over the efforts by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to adopt a legal framework in which differential treatment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited. The course will deal with events at both the state and federal levels. Much of the course work will consist of an analysis of the various strategies and tactics adopted both by proponents of these legal changes and by those that have been opposed to them. The course will focus on the history of events after the 1969 Stonewall incident, up through contemporary issues. Much of it will reflect the personal experiences of the instructor who filed gay rights legislation in Massachusetts in 1972, and who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for every debate but one that has occurred on this subject in our history.
Note: This course is also offered at the Harvard Kennedy School as DPI-375. It meets at HKS. Please note the first class meeting will take place on Friday, September 5th. The course will follow a regular meeting schedule for the remainder of the semester.