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UC Davis Experts: Gay Marriage

October 13, 2008

The following University of California, Davis, faculty are available to comment on legal, psychological and cultural aspects of same-sex marriage. The Connecticut Supreme Court on Oct. 10 paved the way for Connecticut to become the third state in which gay men and lesbians can marry. California was the second.

Gay and lesbian marriage and the law

Courtney Joslin, professor of law, served as an attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, where she litigated cases on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families. She is a past executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Her areas of interest include family and relationship recognition, particularly focusing on same-sex and nonmarital couples. Contact: Courtney Joslin, Law, (415) 902-7981, cgjoslin@ucdavis.edu.

Gay and lesbian marriage and psychology

Psychologist Gregory Herek was one of the authors of an amicus curiae brief submitted by the American Psychological Association and other leading mental health organizations to the California Supreme Court for its consideration in Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco, the gay marriage case decided May 15. The brief, cited in footnote 59 of the court's decision, states that "... sexual orientation is integrally linked to the intimate personal relationships that human beings form with others to meet their deeply felt needs for love, attachment, and intimacy." Herek is the author of the book, "Hate Crimes: Confronting Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men." He was awarded the 1996 American Psychological Association's Early Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and the Public Interest. Contact: Gregory Herek, Psychology, (530) 752-8085, gmherek@ucdavis.edu.

Gay and lesbian marriage in modern American culture

Elizabeth Freeman, an associate professor of English at UC Davis, is the author of the book, "The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture," which includes discussion of lesbian and gay marriages, problems associated with civil marriages and the impact of new reproductive technologies on the institution of marriage. She teaches courses on race, gender and sexuality, and lesbian literature. Contact: Elizabeth Freeman, English, (530) 754-9198, esfreeman@ucdavis.edu.

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