Katherine Franke

Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law

Katherine Franke

Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law; Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law

Katherine Franke is the Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where she also directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and is the faculty director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project. She is among the nation's leading scholars writing on law, religion and rights, drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory.

Her most recent book, Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality, NYU Press, 2015, considers the costs of winning marriage rights for same sex couples today and for African-Americans at the end of the Civil War. Franke was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 to undertake research for Wedlocked. In addition to her work at the Law School, she works regularly in Palestine, most recently serving as an academic mentor for the human rights faculty at Al Quds University in East Jerusalem, and sits on the steering committee of the Academic Advisory Council of Jewish Voice for Peace. She also chairs the board of directors of the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in New York City.

Before coming to the Law School, Franke was an associate professor at Fordham Law School and the University of Arizona College of Law. From 1990 to 1991, she was the executive director of the National Lawyers Guild. Prior to that, she worked for the New York City Commission on Human Rights and founded the AIDS and Employment Project.

  • J.S.D., Yale Law School, 1998
  • LL.M., Yale Law School, 1993
  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., Barnard College, 1981
  • “Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights,” 91 Denver University Law Review 41, 2013
  • “The Curious Relationship of Marriage and Freedom, in Marriage at a Crossroad,” (with E. Scott and M. Garrison, eds.), 2012
  • “Dignifying Rights: A Comment on Jeremy Waldron's Dignity, Rights and Responsibilities,” 43 Arizona State Law Journal 1177, 2012
  • “Public Sex, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Afterlife of Homophobia, in Petite Mort: Recollections of a Queer Public,” (Carlos Motta and Joshua Lubin-Levy, eds.), 2011
  • “Marriage Is a Mixed Blessing,” Op-Ed, New York Times, June 23, 2011
  • “Eve Sedgwick, Civil Rights and Perversion,” 33 Harvard Journal of Law & Gender 313, 2009
  • “Longing for Loving,” 76 Fordham Law Review 2685, 2008
  • “Gendered Subjects of Transitional Justice,” 15 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 813, 2006
  • “The Politics of Same-Sex Marriage Politics,” 15 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 236, 2006
  • “The Domesticated Liberty of Lawrence v. Texas,” 104 Columbia Law Review, 2004
  • “Sexual Tensions of Post-Empire,” 33 Studies in Law, Politics and Society 63, 2004
  • “On Discipline and Canon,” 12 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 639, 2003
  • “Legal Aspects of Gender Assignment, in Update in Androgen Disorders,” (G. Frajese and M. New, eds.), 2002
  • “Homosexuals, Torts, and Dangerous Things, in Legal Canons” (with Jack Balkin and Sanford Levinson, eds.), New York University Press, forthcoming, Summer 2000


Remarks and Testimony
  • Amicus Curiae brief submitted to 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Rosa v. Park West Bank, (on behalf of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and Equal Rights Advocates), February 1, 2000
  • Amicus Curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., August 11, 1997
Critical Legal Thought
Gender Justice
S. Law, Rights, and Religion
S. Legal Scholarship
S. Legalizing Social Movements
S. Queer Theory Workshop
S. The Law of Occupation
S. Topics in Sexuality Law

Columbia Law School

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