From Publishers Weekly
Ball (The Morality of Gay Rights
), Rutgers professor of law, offers an in-depth analysis of the five lawsuits that have moved America closer to full legal equality for LGBT people. The groundbreaking legal decisions include Nabozny
(1996), in which a seventh-grader received such brutal bullying and beatings that he required abdominal surgery successfully sued his school for discrimination in refusing to protect him, after they claimed the brutal treatment was his fault because he was openly gay, and Romer
(also 1996), in which a lesbian policewoman's fellow officers harassed her and ignored her calls for backup in dangerous situations. Ball does an excellent job of showcasing the stories of the lawyers, activists, and defendants involved. He points out that although these cases were essential to get the process started, until marriage equality is protected under federal law and don't ask, don't tell is repealed, there is yet a long way to go. The tone of this book sets it apart from similar studies; Ball approaches his subject with vigor and sensitivity and makes a poignant plea for justice. (June)
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We owe Carlos Ball a debt for his uniquely illuminating account of gay rights litigation. He is a balladeer of the hitherto unsung heroes who litigated the major gay rights cases as well as a legal expert who is instinctively alert to law's reasons and contingencies. Perhaps only Ball could have given us a book on this topic that so delights and instructs.—Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law
A prolific author and eminent legal scholar, Carlos Ball deftly and accessibly tells the rich and fascinating stories about the clients and lawyers whose cases have transformed LGBT life in the United States. Timely and deeply relevant, From the Closet to the Courtroom
is a powerful testament to the role our lawyers and courts can play in creating social change."—Nancy D. Polikoff, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, and author of Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage
"A timely chronicle of how key legal battles reflect and raise the visibility of sexual minorities and compel society to take seriously their claims to equal citizenship. By revealing the people and stories behind some of the most far-reaching court cases in the history of the LGBT rights struggle, it brings alive the impact of litigation."—Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Palm Center, University of California-Santa Barbara, and author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America
"This powerful book is a long-overdue tribute to the lawyers and activists whose work has changed many lives and resulted in landmark legal victories. Professor Ball dramatically resurrects each case, bringing together opposing attorneys and litigants to show how ordinary human conflict can translate to extraordinary civil rights gain. This groundbreaking book is crucial if we are to understand the history of the rights we take for granted, achieved by ...