Gender and Sexuality
Same-Sex Marriage Bans
A timeline of bans on same-sex marriage within the United States.
Lawrence v. Texas
A summary of Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the Supreme Court case that legalized gay sex.
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
A short timeline history of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
A short bio of Anthony Comstock, the mad censor of New York.
Marriage shouldn't have to be a civil liberties issue, but it has been for more than three centuries. Today, legislators still deprive some couples of marriage rights as an opportunity to appeal to the prejudices of their constituents.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) of 1996 prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage. It was struck down by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May 2012.
Definition of a cisman (cissexual man).
Definition of a transwoman (transssexual woman).
What is a ciswoman (cissexual woman)?
What Gender is Not
"[O]ur notion of what a human being is," philosopher Judith Butler once remarked, "problematically depends on there being two coherent genders." The trouble is that the more we look at gender, the more clear it becomes that it is a cultural tradition--overlapping with, but not lining up neatly with, biology. Biological sex, which is itself a false binary concept, does not necessarily de…
Definition of the word feminism.
Is Marriage a Civil Right?
Why marriage is a civil right, with constitutional references.
Same-Sex Marriage in Maine
May 9, 2009
Earlier this week, Maine became the fifth U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Obama on Don't Ask, Don't Tell
The "don't ask, don't tell" policy limits the participation of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in the U.S. military.
Summary of United States v. Windsor (2013)
A summary of the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Windsor (2013), the case that struck down most of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Reproductive Rights 101
The most basic right we have is the right to live in our bodies. Our bodies are the most fundamental instruments we have to interact with the world. Governments can legislate or take away our homes, our food, our weapons, our books--but when governments begin to legislate or take away our bodies themselves, or to allow them to be taken away by others, they arrogate the power to control our very i…
Iowa Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
April 3, 2009
This morning, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Varnum v. Brien that state laws prohibiting marriage on the basis of the partners' gender are unconstitutional.
Infant Circumcision and Human Rights
Note: This article refers to male circumcision, i.e. partial removal of the foreskin, and not female "circumcision," i.e. female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM, which typically involves direct damage to the vulva itself, is an obvious human rights problem and should not be discussed in the same context as male circumcision.
Forced Sterilization in the United States
Though primarily associated with Nazi Germany, North Korea, and other oppressive regimes, U.S. forced sterilization laws fit in perfectly with the eugenic culture of early 20th-century Americana.
Does circumcision of male infants violate human rights?
A short history of forced sterilization, and description of how it's still put to use today.
What is a transsexual? Read this definition of the word transsexual.
What is transgender status? Read the definition of transgender here.
What is heteronormativity? Read this definition.
The 2008 Day Without a Gay Protest
The 2008 Day Without a Gay protest.
Definition of domestic partnerships.
Definition of civil unions.
Definition of heterosexism.
The definition of the word transphobia.
The definition of the word sexual orientation.
The 2008 Connecticut Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Explained
An explanation of the October 2008 Connecticut same-sex marriage ruling.
What is Marriage?
What is marriage? Find out here.
Obama vs. McCain
Where will federal lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights likely stand in 2012 following the first term of a Barack Obama or John McCain presidency?
Proposition 8: The California Marriage Amendment of 2008
The history, content, and current status of California Proposition 8, which would amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
5 Questions About Transgender Rights
Because transgender persons have historically been neglected and marginalized by mainstream issue advocates, transgender rights represents a relatively new frontier in civil liberties activism.
Gay Marriage or Same-Sex Marriage?
Why I now use the term "same-sex marriage" instead of "gay marriage" to describe same-sex marriages, and why I believe others in the media industry should follow suit.
Same-Sex Marriage in New York
An overview of same-sex marriage in New York, with emphasis on Governor David Paterson's May 2008 executive order recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The 2008 California Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Explained
An explanation of the May 2008 California same-sex marriage ruling.
10 Really Bad Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage
The American Family Association, a right-wing advocacy group, has published a list of ten arguments against same-sex marriage. Ostensibly a summary of James Dobson's Marriage Under Fire, the arguments make a very loose case against same-sex marriage based almost entirely on slippery slopes and out-of-context quotations from the G…
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
A profile of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Profile of the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT advocacy group.
Contrary to the old cliché, prostitution is almost certainly not the world's oldest profession--that would be hunting and gathering, followed by subsistence farming--but it's very, very old indeed. Getting rid of it by law enforcement means, history shows us, is difficult.
Feminism in the United States
For whatever it's worth, I don't believe there has ever been a single united feminist movement. There have been multiple feminisms representing the efforts of women to live into their full humanity in a world shaped by and for the generally larger and more violent half of the human species.
To the extent that there is a capital-F Feminism, it represents a way of describing the feminisms t…
March for Women's Lives
Pictures from the 2004 March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, the largest DC protest event in U.S. history.
The American Gay Rights Movement
Is feminism relevant?
Is feminism relevant? Tom Head looks at the question.
Third-wave feminism and the future of the feminist movement.
National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW)
Read about the mission, background, and structure of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW).
Reproductive Rights 101
Reproductive rights defined and explained in an eight-part illustrated guide.
Same-Sex Marriage in Iowa
An Iowa district court has ruled that the state's marriage laws unlawfully discriminate against lesbian and gay couples.
A profile of Iranian feminist Shirin Ebadi, recipient of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.
Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF)
A profile of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
A profile of Lambda Legal.
National Organization for Women (NOW)
A profile of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
A profile of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
A profile of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
Women's Rights 101
Analysis of important women's rights issues, including wage discrimination, reproductive rights, and school segregation.
Sex and Civil Liberties
An illustrated guide to sex and civil liberties.
Domestic Violence Victim Jessica Gonzales Sues U.S. for Human Rights Abuses
Domestic violence victim Jessica Gonzales has sued the U.S. government for failing to honor international treaties protecting women from domestic violence.
Democratic Congress Considering Three New Gay Rights Bills
The newly-minted Democratic Congress is considering three new gay rights bills.
Gay Marriage in Massachusetts
A profile of the current status of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Updated frequently.
Reproductive Rights 101
Reproductive rights explained, with detailed information and resources on specific reproductive rights issues.
Lesbian and Gay Rights 101
An illustrated guide to lesbian and gay rights issues, with links to articles on gay rights and gay rights bills.
Sex and Civil Liberties
The U.S. government has a long history of restricting sexual acts between consenting adults. Although a landmark 2003 Supreme Court ruling put an end to most direct sex-related restrictions, the government still attempts to impose its morality in other ways.
States That May Soon Allow Legal Gay Marriages or New Civil Unions
These states may soon allow legal gay marriages or new gay civil unions. Some of them already allow civil unions but are considering same-sex marriages, while others currently ban both but may soon allow civil unions.
Gay Marriage 101 - Information on Gay Marriage and Civil Unions
Information on gay marriage and the gay marriage controversy, including legal gay marriage in the United States.
Four Reasons to Support Gay Marriage and Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment
A formidable pro-gay marriage article on legal gay marriage supporting a pro-same sex marriage position in opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Top 10 Blogs on Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian, and Gay Rights
Looking for blogs on lesbians', gays', bisexuals', and transgender persons' rights, gay rights, LGBT or GLBT rights, gay marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships, antidiscrimination and nondiscrimination, gay adoptions, and more? Here's a top 10 list, including Good as You, Gay Rights Watch, the Big Gay Picture, and Pam's House Blend.
Civil Liberties Blog Central - The Top 10 Blogs on Feminism and Women's Rights
Looking for blogs on feminism, women's rights, and civil liberties? Here's a list of ten great ones, including Feministing, Echidne of the Snakes, the Happy Feminist, and more.
The Name-Giver: A Tribute to Betty Friedan (1921-2006)
Betty Friedan almost singlehandedly launched second-wave feminism in the United States through her sensational 1963 bestseller, the Feminine Mystique. But as impressive as her ideas were, what changed the world even more was her contribution to the American vocabulary.
Declaration of Sexual Rights
In 1999, the World Association of Sexology published an 11-point bill of sexual rights. Hosted by Cory Silverberg, your About Guide to Sexuality.
Sex Statistics: What's in a Number?
Cory Silverberg, your About Guide to Sexuality, provides links to statistics on sexual behavior--and explains why you probably shouldn't take them too seriously.
Abortion Rights, Privacy, and Sexual Autonomy
Austin Cline, your About Guide to Atheism and Agnosticism, looks at how courts have protected individual sexual autonomy from restrictive, religiously-based legislation.
Austin Cline, your About Guide to Atheism and Agnosticism, looks at a North Carolina case where a sheriff, citing an obscure 1805 law, fired an employee for having a live-in boyfriend.
Sexual Autonomy and Prostitution
"Sex sells," About Guide to Atheism and Agnosticism Austin Cline writes, "but should sex be sold?" Here he examines a compelling argument against legalized prostitution.
Prominent Islamic Group Declares Support for Women's Rights
In honor of International Women's Day 2006 (March 8th), the Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) issued a statement in support of women's rights.
Lesbian and Gay Rights 101 - Information on Gay and Lesbian Rights
Information on lesbian and gay rights issues, with links to articles on gay rights and gay rights bills.
The American Civil Liberties Union - Lesbian and Gay Rights
The ACLU's advocacy page for lesbian and gay rights, with up-to-the-minute news, links, and special reports.
The Southern Poverty Law Center profiles Paul Cameron, whose bizarre and utterly phony statistics about gay and lesbian life are still cited today by many anti-gay activists.
The Southern Poverty Law Center profiles recent spikes in aggressively anti-gay rhetoric among some religious conservatives.
Hate Crimes and Vulnerable Communities
In reviewing the work of philosopher Martha Nussbaum, Atheism and Agnosticism Guide Austin Cline develops a solid way of explaining the justification behind hate crime statutes.
The Mississippi Personhood Amendment
What is the Mississippi Personhood Amendment? Explanation and full text inside.
Reproductive Rights in the United States
A timeline history of reproductive rights in the United States.
Transgender Rights in the United States
A timeline history of transgender and transsexual rights in the United States.
Sodomy Laws in the United States
A timeline history of sodomy laws in the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union - Women's Rights
The ACLU's advocacy page for women's right, with up-to-the-minute news, links, and special reports.
The Sexual Revolution
Timeline history of the sexual revolution.