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From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation (Queer Ideas/Queer Action) Kindle Edition

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Length: 297 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

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 v. Podlesny (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 v. Evans (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to get the process started, until marriage equality is protected under federal law and don't ask, don't tell is repealed, there is yet a long way to go.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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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 ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 827 KB
  • Print Length: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (June 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Z1TBSW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,766 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Carlos A. Ball is Professor of Law at the Rutgers University School of Law (Newark). He was born in 1964 in Caracas, Venezuela. He has written extensively on LGBT rights issues. He lives with his partner Richard Storrow and their two children in Brooklyn, New York.

Photo Credit: Dyanna Stupar, 2011.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ben F. Eiseman on December 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Carlos A. Ball, a professor of law at Rutgers University, has written an incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and thorough book on 5 LGBT rights lawsuits that have helped our community (and country) tremendously. If you care to learn of the legal victories of the LGBT community that have contributed to a more just society, I strongly recommend this book - I learned a lot. And reading this just after the repeal of DADT, I'm feeling very hopeful and inspired. Thank you, Carlos!
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By Amazon Customer on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It matters not whether you are interested in LGBT rights. This book is a study of rights in general, including the precious right to privacy. The value of this book is that it gives the reader a palate of legal and social history upon which the lives of real people are discussed. It allows the reader to clarify his thoughts on the significant issue of privacy.
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