Gender Identity and the Law

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2020

From participation in the military to hormone coverage for transgender youth, transgender issues cut to the heart of some of the hardest questions we face today about the relationship between law, politics, science, medicine, public opinion, and identity. This course examines this complex and novel area of law in the context of a changing judicial and political landscape. Students will be encouraged to consider all points of view and delve into the strongest arguments for and against efforts to expand legal protections for transgender people.
Taught by a leading practitioner in the field, this course emphasizes the legal tools and decision-making processes involved in doing pathbreaking civil rights work. Students will gain an insight into the strategic and ethical tradeoffs involved in using the legal and political system to enact societal change.
Topics covered include: overview of gender identity and the development of transgender rights; constitutional and statutory frameworks for legal recognition of gender identity; access to sex-segregated spaces and activities; religion-, speech-, and ethics-based objections; access to health care and reproductive technology; non-binary and intersex identities; race and transgender experience; and unique considerations in military, family, and prison litigation.
Class materials include: case law, case documents, legislative materials, regulatory materials, press accounts, legal scholarship, and sources from other academic disciplines.

Additional Information

Faculty: Alexander Chen 
Time: Mon, 5:00 – 7:00pm; Wed, Thurs and Fri, 1:00 – 3:00pm