In the News
Here you will find press releases, as well as news media references to the faculty or the Center for Gender and Sexuality.
Latest News, 2012 - 2013
THE VILLAGE VOICE - May 16
What to Do if You Get Vito Lopez'd at Work
"Few women report the sexual harassment they experience for fear of retribution--though we're guaranteed the right to a safe work environment, and the Supreme Court has recognized that the psychological damage caused by sexual harassment can violate the law," according to Suzanne B. Goldberg, a director and professor at Columbia University's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
THE NEW YORK TIMES - May 12
"For lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, shame, stress and the drive to surpass the rest don’t come solely from concealment. They also result from living in a world that tells us day after day that we’re morally bad, which can spark a painful drive to prove that we’re morally good — whether we’re out or no," writes Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
THE ADVOCATE - May 9
Conservatives’ Misread of Keynes Reveals Unconscious Bias
"Niall Ferguson’s bizarre attack on the personal life of economist John Maynard Keynes has exposed the nasty moralizing aspect of fiscal conservatism," writes Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
AL-BAWBA – May 7
The invisibles: homosexuals in Palestine speak out about the unspeakable
In 2012, Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia Law School, decided to boycott Equality Forum’s 2012 LGBT Summit, which was held in Israel. In her published letter, she said that since 2000, the Shin Bet has had a policy of blackmailing gay Palestinians and “threatening to oust them unless they become informants against their own people.” “For this reason, gay people in Palestine have a reputation as collaborators with Israel—as a result some of the homophobia gays and lesbians in Palestine experience is the direct product of the occupation itself,” she said.
THE HUFFINGTON POST - May 7
Is Outrage Driving Homophobia Underground?
Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank: "The widespread expectation in polite society that homosexuality will now be embraced has created a new level of political correctness that’s stifling our ability to genuinely address underlying homophobia and its consequences."
THE NATION - May 6
Lessons From the Central Park Five
Columbia Law Professor Patricia Williams on The Central Park Five, a film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon.
SLATE - April 29
Men in Uniform
Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank on Jason Collins' coming out: "Don’t listen to people who say a gay athlete will 'divide a team.' People said the same thing about gays in the military."
THE NEW YORK TIMES – April 15
Supreme Court Spectator Line Acts as a Toll Booth
The scene outside the court troubled Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia and member of the Supreme Court bar. “I had never heard of paid line standers before, and I had been to all of the major gay rights arguments in the past two decades,” she said, adding that she had reluctantly used a line-standing service to see the second of the two same-sex marriage arguments last month.
WBAI LAW AND DISORDER RADIO - April 1
Supreme Court on Gay Marriage
Professor Katherine Franke: "We have movement lawyers in the lesbian and gay community and of course they don’t all agree with each other, its a complicated movement. But there was a sense that they were going to go state by state, and build legal consensus around the issue of marriage rights and around a set of arguments that weren’t going to hurt gay and lesbian people who didn’t marry."
NPR’s ON POINT – March 28
Gay Marriage On The Docket
The US Supreme Court takes on huge issues. But it takes a giant issue to fill the steps outside the court – and the whole country – with the kind of passion we’ve seen this week. Gay marriage has gone from deep outlier to broad public acceptance with amazing speed. Now it is in the hands of the court. States’ rights. Federal obligations. History. Morality. A shifting culture. And individual rights and liberties under the US Constitution, all before the court. [With Suzanne Goldberg of the Law School.]
HUFFINGTON POST - March 28
Can You Oppose Gay Marriage and Not Be Anti-Gay?
Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank writes, "Whatever the outcome of this week's historic Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, one thing has become crystal clear: there is no longer, if there ever was, a rational argument to ban it."
ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE WATCH – March 27
DOMA's defenses self-destruct
By Suzanne B. Goldberg
The favorite arguments of the Defense of Marriage Act’s defenders – that the the federal government can take a uniform approach to marriage while leaving states free to do what they choose – took a pounding at the Supreme Court during this morning’s argument in Windsor v. United States, strongly suggesting that if the Court reaches the merits, DOMA is dead.
WNYC NEWS – March 26
What the SCOTUS Rulings on Gay Marriage Could Mean for NY
Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the DOMA case is only about how the federal government recognizes same-sex couples. “The DOMA case will have no effect on same-sex couples who are married where they live,” she said.
ACSblog – March 25
Christian Right’s Tired, Loopy Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage
Georgetown Law Center Professor Nan Hunter and Columbia Law School Professor Suzanne Goldberg have lodged briefs in both cases. During a recent interview with ACSblog, Goldberg briefly described some arguments advanced in those briefs.
CBS NEWS - March 23
Arguments For and Against Same-Sex Marriage
Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg explains what’s at stake in the marriage equality cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
SIRIUS XM - March 22
Stand Up! with Pete Dominick
In the second hour, we talk about the Supreme Court arguments on Prop 8 with Columbia Law professor Suzanne Goldberg and take your calls.
The Washington Blade – March 22
Another round for Prop 8 in Calif. state court?
Suzanne Goldberg, co-director of Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, was among those saying it’s “extremely unlikely” the Supreme Court would once again send the Prop 8 case back to the California State Court. “If the Supreme Court decides to address that question, it is perfectly capable of evaluating the sponsor’s injury on its own,” Goldberg said. “The court regularly makes assessments of whether litigants have a sufficient injury to proceed with a case in a federal court. This is not a question that the California Supreme Court would have to resolve.”
SLATE - March 18
Is George Will Homophobic?
"In a conservative movement seized by extremists, George Will is one of the sane ones. But his recent rejection of social science as having any role to play in the gay marriage debate is wildly off the mark," writes Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
AL JAZEERA - March 18
The US Supreme Court and the Great American Marriage Debate
Professor Suzanne Goldberg: "The United States Supreme Court will hear argument in two cases about marriage for same-sex couples later this month. In the meantime, advocates continue to debate whether a decision recognising marriage rights will mark the end to a damaging inequality or a step in the nation's moral decline. But in both cases, a broad cross-section of the public has already staked out its position, pointedly telling the high court that the tide has turned - toward equality."
THE EPOCH TIMES - March 5
Israel’s Controversial Buses Burn: Arson Suspected
While there are certainly complex security concerns in the West Bank that need to be addressed. Katherine Franke, Professor of Law at Columbia University questions the security concern. “If it is a security issue there are many ways to address this problem. One is to segregate the buses, but another would be increase the number of security personnel on the buses,” Franke said.
LET'S TALK DEVELOPMENT - March 5
Law and Development from the Ground Up: Bridging Health Care by the Sewa River
"The experience in Sierra Leone reveals the potential utility of locally-designed and -responsive law in addressing mainstream development challenges," argues Center for Reproductive Rights - Columbia Law School Fellow Margaux Hall.
BITCH MAGAZINE - March 4
Adventures in Feministory: Law Professor Patricia J. Williams Opens Up
Journalist Grace Bello on the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law's March 1st Symposium Honoring Patricia Williams: "Someone in the audience asked Williams how, in exploring the disenfranchisement of people of color in America, she is able to be so vulnerable in her writing. She responded, 'I don't think I would have been as vulnerable if I had known how hard it was. And by the time I realized how hard it was, I was lucky enough to have found myself among a community of people and groups who made me appreciate that the struggle was not just about me.'"
SALON – February 28
Transgender student sues Baptist university that expelled her
And while Christian universities have successfully defended against anti-gay discrimination suits on religious grounds, it’s less likely that they can make the same case for an anti-transgender policy, Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in sexuality and gender law, told the Huffington Post. ”While the position against same-sex sexual relations in some religions is widely known, I don’t think the same is true for positions regarding gender identity,” she said.
THE HUFFINGTON POST - February 28
Is Gay Marriage Really a Conservative Cause?
"It’s one thing to say same-sex marriage is consistent with conservative values, and quite another to claim it as a conservative cause," says Center for Gender & Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
PRESS RELEASE - February 28
Columbia Law School Professors File Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Case
"The United States Supreme Court should dismiss an appeal of a decision striking down California’s Proposition 8 because the sponsors of the ban on marriage for same-sex couples do not have standing to defend the law, Columbia Law School Professors Suzanne B. Goldberg and Henry P. Monaghan argue in an amicus brief filed with the court Wednesday."
THE HUFFINGTON POST – February 27
Domaine Javier, Transgender Student, Sues University That Expelled Her For 'Fraud'
Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in sexuality and gender law, said the university could have a more difficult time defending itself against Javier's lawsuit than against an anti-gay discrimination case. "While the position against same-sex sexual relations in some religions is widely known, I don't think the same is true for positions regarding gender identify," she said.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES - February 21
The Power of the Words "Husband" and "Wife"
"Those who get married have already decided about terminology. They have chosen to become a husband or wife, and that's what they deserve to be called. Failing to recognize this means failing to recognize what the gay marriage battle has been about: achieving equal dignity by accessing the same institutions and occupying the same symbolic spaces as everyone else," argues Center for Gender & Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
NEW REPUBLIC - February 19
Obama's False "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Narrative
Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar, Center for Gender & Sexuality Law: "LGBT advocates...publicly forced the administration’s hand, making it too costly to let repeal float into 2011. And repeal arguably started an avalanche of LGBT progress. Seeing so little blowback to this major step, the administration announced two months later that it would stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act."
PRESS RELEASE - February 18
Carla Sutherland Joins Center for Gender and Sexuality Law’s “Engaging Tradition Project”
Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law announced today that Dr. Carla Sutherland has joined the Engaging Tradition Project as an associate research scholar. During the six-month fellowship, Sutherland will analyze the deployment of tradition and traditional values in global human rights debates on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
THE FEMINIST WIRE – February 10
Lessons From Brooklyn College: A Victory For BDS, Academic Freedom, and the Vanquishing of Bullies
Professor Katherine Franke responds to the furor around Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti's speeches at Brooklyn College about the notion of using boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) to protest the state of Israel’s policies toward Palestine and Palestinians.
NPR - January 23
All Things Political
President Obama made history during his second inaugural address on Monday when he mentioned marriage equality for gays and lesbians. This hour, Veronica Rueckert's guest discusses those statements, and the upcoming gay marriage cases before the Supreme Court. Guest: Katherine Franke, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia.
THE HUFFINGTON POST - January 14
Jodie Foster and the Queer Line Between Public and Private
"If there's one thing LGBT people should agree on, it's the importance of compassion, and of not bullying our own," writes Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank.
ABC NEWS - January 3
Global Gay Rights, from Marriage to the Death Penalty
Urvashi Vaid, Director of the Engaging Tradition Project at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law discusses global gay rights with Christiane Amanpour.
PRESS RELEASE - January 3
Honduran Man Wins Asylum in the United States with the Help of Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic has won asylum for a gay man who feared for his life in his home country of Honduras because of attacks and persecution based on his sexual orientation. The grant of asylum, issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on December 31, 2012, highlights the dangers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Honduras. LGBT activists and individuals there suffer at the hands of private citizens and even the police under a regime that follows what one gay activist called “a policy of extermination.”
NPR - December 11
All Things Political
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. This hour, Kathleen Dunn discusses the history of each, and the possible rulings. Guests include: Katherine Franke, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia.
SLATE - December 11
Stop Calling Kevin Clash a Pedophile
Like Katherine Franke, a scholar of gender and sexuality law at Columbia, I worry that the general response to these charges constitutes a grade-A “sex panic,” a pitchfork-wielding, irrational, damn-the-details response to sexual relationships that make a lot of us uncomfortable.
CBS NEWS - December 10
Supreme Court to Rule on Future of Same-Sex Marriage
Watch a video of Suzanne B. Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, director of the Law School's Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, and co-director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, discuss the legal implications of the cases on CBS This Morning.
NEW YORK TIMES - December 10
Same-Sex Issue Pushes Justices Into Overdrive
“We are at a major turning point in the arc of gay and lesbian rights,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia. “The cases are moving fast, and the country is as well.”
PRESS RELEASE - December 7
Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic Responds to U.S. Supreme Court Decision to Review DOMA, Prop. 8 Same-Sex Marriage Cases
The Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic responds to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to hear United States v. Windsor, a constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, and Perry v. Brown, a challenge to Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.
BUSINESS INSIDER - December 7
PROFESSOR: This Is The 'Final Chapter' Of The Anti-Gay Defense Of Marriage Act
"I think this will be the final chapter for DOMA," Suzanne Goldberg, director of the sexuality and gender law clinic at Columbia Law School, told Business Insider. "It means the federal government will not be able to ignore gay couples' marriages."
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY - November 27
Second Circuit Case on DOMA May Be High Court’s Strongest Contender for Deciding Law’s Fate
"While marriage equality supporters have been giving thanks for the recent ballot box victories and the Second Circuit’s Windsor v. U.S. decision, the most recent Defense of Marriage strike-down by a federal court in mid-October, the law-focused among us are also looking ahead to the next big question: What will the U.S. Supreme Court do on Nov. 30, when it is scheduled to decide on the marriage-related cert petitions pending before it?" writes Suzanne B. Goldberg, Co-Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law and Director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic at Columbia Law School.
WINDY CITY MEDIA GROUP – November 21
Petraeus scandal conjures recent LGBT legal skirmishes
Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke, writing in the school's Gender & Sexuality Law Blog Nov. 10, saw right away the parallel between Petraeus' resignation and the experience of many gay and lesbian civil servants in the past. "Gay men and lesbians were vulnerable to this kind of take down from public service until recently on the theory that illegal and shameful behavior such as being gay or having an extra marital affair could render you susceptible to blackmail, thus jeopardizing national security," wrote Franke.
NEW YORK TIMES - November 20
Elmo Puppeteer Resigns After Fresh Allegation
Katherine Franke, a professor of law and the Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University, said she worried that Mr. Clash was “the most recent victim of what we call in my world a ‘sex panic.’ ” She named a second recent example, David Petraeus, who admitted having an extramarital affair and resigned as the C.I.A. director earlier this month. “At precisely the moment when gay people’s right to marry seems to be reaching a positive tipping point, sexuality is being driven back into the closet as something shameful and incompatible with honor (in the case of Petraeus) or decency (as in the case of Clash),” Ms. Franke said in an e-mail message. Mr. Clash, she added, “has not been convicted of a crime, but merely accused of one in a completely unsubstantiated, vague complaint.”
THE ADVOCATE - November 19
Winning the Hearts and Minds of Even Our Most Ardent Opponents
"As Americans see proud, out soldiers donning the uniform and defending their country, as they see happily married same-sex couples raising kids and mowing the lawn next door, they recognize the sky’s not falling. Gay people are pretty much like us, they realize, and sharing with them our major institutions and our status as first-class Americans doesn’t cause harm, create chaos, or weaken our nation," writes Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
PRESS RELEASE - November 16
Professor Carol Sanger Presents Distinguished Lecture on Post-Adoption Visitation Agreements
In her lecture “Bargaining for Motherhood: Post-adoption Visitation Agreements,” which will be published in the Hofstra Law Review in early 2013, Professor Carol Sanger argues that enforcement of contracts governing visitation between birth mothers and children are not as straightforward as they first appear.
HUFFINGTON POST - November 14
All In: Marriage, Rights and Hypocrisy - The Case of David Petraeus
"What a moment this is that on the heels of having won enormous victories in electing openly gay candidates such as Tammy Baldwin and securing marriage rights for same sex couples in four more states, marriage remains an institution whose mores, morals, and social standing can bring down someone as powerful as David Petraeus when he violates them. It seems that we live in a time when it's safer to be gay than to be an adulterer," writes Katherine Franke, Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
SLATE - November 7
How Gay Marriage Finally Won at the Polls
Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Visiting Scholar Nathaniel Frank on the inside strategy behind victory in Maryland and Maine.
HUFFINGTON POST - October 26
Gay Hate Crime Acquittal In Kentucky Throws Fuel On Hate Crime Debate
Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, described the case as a victory for the government, noting that the defense lost its challenge to the constitutionality of the hate crime law before the trial even began. "It is a big deal that the court rejected the challenge to the hate crimes law," she said..."I'm not sure the federal criminal prosecution leaves this community in any better shape," said Katherine Franke, a professor at Columbia Law School and the director of the school's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. "The law is a very blunt instrument," Franke continued. "It can't tolerate or handle complex questions like the questions of sexual identity and motivation that were present in this case."
PROJECT SYNDICATE - October 25
From Bribery to Empowerment
Margaux Hall, Center for Reproductive Rights-Columbia Law School Fellow, on the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): "To increase the FCPA’s impact, the fines collected should be dedicated to the global fight against corruption."
PRESS RELEASE - October 18
Sexuality & Gender Clinic Applauds Federal Appeals Court Strike-Down of the Defense of Marriage Act
The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic today applauded the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for violating the Constitution’s equality guarantee.
HUFFINGTON POST - September 20
The Future of Our Relationships
"I anticipate that, in a decade, the tide will have turned. A new generation will see that marriage (or no marriage) for same-sex couples is not really the salient issue: the issue is the ability to establish for ourselves, no matter our sexual orientation, partnerships that are legally respected and financially and emotionally secure," writes Center for Reproductive Rights-Columbia Law School Fellow Erez Aloni responding to news that France and Scotland are about to legalize same-sex marriage.
SLATE - September 20
The Last Word on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law: "A new UCLA study, which I co-authored with other academics including military professors from all four U.S. military service academies, has assessed whether ending the gay ban has indeed harmed the armed forces. It hasn’t. Our conclusion is that ending the policy 'has had no negative impact on overall military readiness or its component parts: unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.'"
PRESS RELEASE - September 10
Sexuality & Gender Clinic Urges Federal Appeals Court to Strike Down Defense of Marriage Act
The Columbia Law School Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) for violating the Constitution’s equality guarantee. The Clinic’s brief to the court makes clear that under any level of judicial scrutiny, the government must not impose unfair burdens on disfavored groups, including same-sex married couples.
SLATE - September 6
Gay is Good for America
"If the gay love affair is part political calculation, it also reflects a lesson from both American history and queer theory: minorities need not always conform to the majority, and their advances can actually make things better for everyone" -- Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, on gay rights at the Democratic National Convention.
TIKKUN MAGAZINE - July 3
The Greater Context of the Pinkwashing Debate
Katherine Franke, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director of the Gender and Sexuality Program: I wanted to offer some reactions to the most recent opinion piece authored by Arthur Slepian in which he takes on those who charge the state of Israel with "pinkwashing" its dismal human rights record when it comes to Palestine and the Palestinian people. Rather than respond point by point to the bill of particulars he issues to the anti-pinkwashers, I prefer to situate this debate in the context of larger gay rights organizing.
HUFFINGTON POST - June 6
LGBT and Civil Rights Groups Band Together to Protest Stop-and-Frisk Practice
There are many within the LGBT community who have criticized mainstream groups for a single-minded focus on marriage, to the exclusion of broader civil rights issues, such as police brutality against transgender people or the huge number of queer homeless youth. Tuesday's event could serve as a turning point. "It signals a real change of our organizations working together, not just in solidarity with someone else's movement and agenda but seeing our agendas as shared. That's huge," said Katherine Franke, the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
SLATE - June 2
Is Gay Good?
Nathaniel Franke, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, on Linda Hirshman's new book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution.