EDGE BOSTON—May 31
Columbia Law Students Secure Asylum for Lesbian
"It is quite difficult to obtain asylum in the U.S.; most applicants are rejected by the Department of Homeland Security," Columbia Law Professor Suzanne Goldberg told EDGE. "An applicant’s chances of obtaining asylum increase if they are represented because advocates and lawyers can help the asylum seeker present their strongest case."
SLATE - May 25
The Cowardice of Colin Powell
"Is there anyone in American public life who gets so much credit for being a leader, while not truly leading?" asks Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.
CARE2.COM (BLOG)—May 22
Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days
Dharun Ravi was sentenced to 30 days in prison beginning on May 31 after being found guilty of using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate, Tyler Clementi. Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia University, pointed out that the sentence must be the same to what others would get. “Most 20-year-olds who commit serious crimes don’t get community service,” she said in the New York Times.
PRESS RELEASE—May 18
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Secures Asylum in the U.S. for Gay Woman From Peru
PRESS RELEASE—May 15
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Urges New York Lawmakers to Prohibit the Use of Condoms as Evidence
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic today sent letters to all New York State Senators and Assembly Members urging support for a bill that would prohibit the use of condoms as evidence in prostitution cases. The letters say the bill addresses a growing public health crisis in the State: Prosecutors’ use of condoms as evidence leads many New Yorkers – especially those at heightened risk for prostitution arrests – not to carry condoms at all.
TIKKUN MAGAZINE—May 10
Boycotting Equality Forum’s Israeli Sponsorship: Gay Rights Became a Tool in Israel’s Rebranding Campaign
Rebecca Alpert and Katherine Franke: This week we were scheduled to speak at the Constitution Center as part of the Equality Forum’s 2012 LGBT Summit. Instead we, a rabbi and a law professor, have withdrawn our appearances at the event, disturbed that the Equality Forum, a major mainstream gay rights group, chose Israel as the conference’s “featured nation” and gained sponsorship for the 2012 Summit from the Israeli Embassy and Ministry of Tourism.
PRESS RELEASE—May 9
Professors Franke and Goldberg Laud Obama’s Support for Marriage Equality
President Barack Obama’s announcement of support for same-sex marriage today was praised by gender and sexuality law experts at Columbia Law School, who lauded the president’s shift in position on the contentious issue as a sign of hope in the battle over marriage equality in the United States.
PRESS RELEASE—May 9
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Participates in First White House LGBT Conference on Aging
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic participated in the first White House LGBT Conference on Aging in Miami, Florida. The Conference brought together federal government officials; national and state advocates; and the public to focus on the health, housing, and economic security needs of aging members of the LGBT community.
SLATE - May 9
His Evolution is Our Evolution
"The moral power of the presidency may be its most important dimension: What the president believes and says influences how ordinary Americans think and behave and what laws they are willing to pass," writes Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, on why President Obama's support of gay marriage matters.
SLATE - May 9
When the Facts Don't Matter
"Same-sex marriage isn't hurting anyone. So why are so many people still afraid of it?" asks Nathaniel Frank, Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law.
PRESS RELEASE—May 1
Carol Sanger Delivers Marks Lecture at University of Arizona's Law School
Carol Sanger, the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law, spoke about abortion as a medical issue, a political issue, and a legal issue in a talk titled "About Abortion: Meaning and Methodology," for the 32nd Isaac Marks Memorial Lecture at the University of Arizona’s James F. Rogers College of Law.
THE AMERICAN PROSPECT—April 30
Still Ain't Satisfied: The Limits of Equality
Urvashi Vaid: The LGBT-rights movement should fight for economic and social justice—not simply de jure civil rights.
Strauss-Kahn’s Lawyers Argue for Immunity in Maid’s Suit
The likelihood that Strauss-Kahn’s argument will prevail is “slim to nil,” said Sarah H. Cleveland, a professor of human and constitutional rights at Columbia Law School in New York and an expert on international law.
Chile: Lesbian Judge Whose Sexuality ‘Put Daughters at Risk’ Wins Legal Battle
Among the groups advocating for Ms Atala, Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic submitted a brief to the Court from 60 experts on sexual orientation, gender and family law from around the world. It pointed to an increasing acceptance globally that whether or not a parent is gay is irrelevant in determining the best interests of a child. The brief also argued that denying lesbian and gay parents custody of their children violates the rights of both children and parents to live freely without discrimination.
Suzanne B. Goldberg, a Professor of Law and director of the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic said: “The Inter-American Court’s decision vindicates the American Convention’s basic promise of equality and non-discrimination and makes clear that lesbian and gay parents have and deserve these important human rights protections.
WNYC’S THE BRIAN LEHRER SHOW—March 23
Trayvon Martin Case: Perception and the Law
Columbia University Law School professor, and columnist for The Nation magazine, Patricia Williams discusses the difficulties when perceptions of threats are protected under the law--in the context of the Trayvon Martin case and the Stand Your Ground law in Florida as well as in the Dharun Ravi conviction.
WHYY RADIO RADIO TIMES—March 22
Hate Crimes, Cyberbullying & the Cam Case
We'll deconstruct the case against Dharun Ravi and discuss its implications for the future of hate crimes law, cyber law and bullying with DANIELLE CITRON of the University of Maryland's Francis King Carey School of Law and SUZANNE GOLDBERG of Columbia School of Law.
THE NATION—March 21 (print—April 9)
Eggs Are People Too!
Patricia Williams: It’s an interesting time to ponder the meaning of life and death in the eyes of the law. On one hand, Christian conservatives increasingly seek to sacralize embryos from the moment of conception. On the other, the Supreme Court just heard a case that, among other things, considers the extent to which the corporeal death of a parent is really the “end of the line” with regard to “survivor” benefits for children conceived by artificial insemination from the frozen sperm of a deceased father. On one hand, Citizens United granted First Amendment rights to corporations that are identical to—and some would say exceed—those of natural persons; on the other, the Second Circuit recently ruled that individuals, but not corporations, can be sued for human rights abuses.
THE NEW YORK TIMES—March 17
Rutgers Repudiates Notion of Youth as Defense
“The debate in this case was, Was this a stupid college prank or criminal intimidation? And the jury gave a clear answer,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a gender law expert at Columbia Law School.
Webcam Case Conviction Game Change for Hate Crime Prosecution, Legal Experts Say
“Immaturity is not a defense to criminal charges,” said Suzanne Goldberg, who teaches sexuality and gender law at Columbia Law School. “Sometimes, unfortunately, college students behave as though immaturity is a defense to criminal charges, and equally unfortunately, sometimes colleges and universities treat students who commit criminal acts with kid gloves.”
NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL—March 9
Columbia Student Helps Draft Equal Benefits Legislation
The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic helped draft a law, recently passed by the Key West City Commission in Florida, that requires contractors who wish to enter the city's competitive bid process to offer employees with domestic partners the same benefits as married employees.
"Right now there is often great inequality where employees with spouses make more money than employees with domestic partners when you take into account benefits such as health insurance," said Suzanne B. Goldberg, the clinic's director. "Here, the community exercises its authority to say companies must treat their employees equally."
ABORTION REVIEW—March 8
The Americanisation of Abortion Politics in Britain
We often hear of the ‘Americanisation’ of abortion politics in the UK, but unpicking the substantive threats to women’s reproductive rights in the USA can be a challenge. In the 2012 BPAS public lecture in London on 7 March, Carol Sanger, Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a leading international scholar in the regulation of abortion, motherhood, and family, explored the current state of abortion politics in the USA and reflected on what lessons can be drawn by those keen to protect women’s reproductive autonomy in the UK, at a time when abortion appears increasingly politicised.
PRESS RELEASE—March 2
Key West Law Requires City Vendors to Offer Equal Benefits to Domestic Partners
The Key West City Commission voted unanimously on February 22 to pass an equal benefits ordinance that requires companies doing business with Key West to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to married employees. The law was drafted with the assistance of students in the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Broward County adopted a similar law in November, also drafted with the Clinic’s support.
THE NEW YORK TIMES—February 22
Beyond Race in Affirmative Action: We Still Have Far to Go
Patricia Williams: Does anyone really believe that we have “moved past race” considering that American schools are more segregated along the black-white divide than when Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954? Yes, there are new categories of the historically disenfranchised, like Hispanics and Native Americans — who ought to be more visibly integrated in the quest for “diversity.” But the recognition that we need to expand the number of groups who ought to be on the playing field — or ought to have been included long ago — does not mean that underlying impediments to full citizenship have been resolved.
Strauss-Kahn Released After Night in French Cell
"It would be exceedingly rare for anyone who was just a customer to be roped into a federal prostitution prosecution," said Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor who is a professor Columbia Law School in New York.
NPR’S MORNING EDITION—February 16
Former Rutgers Student Faces Hate Crime Trial
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Friday in the trial of Dharun Ravi. The former Rutgers University student is charged with using a webcam to spy on his roommate Tyler Clementi, who later committed suicide. Ravi faces 15 counts. The most serious charge, bias intimidation, is a hate crime, which carries a possible sentence of 10 years in prison. Suzanne Goldberg directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University. She says this is a complex case that will be watched closely.
NYT ROOM FOR DEBATE—February 16
Discussion on "Family Ties, Without Tying the Knot" - Katherine Franke: Stop Sanctifying Marriage
What I found most interesting about the federal appellate court's ruling that Proposition 8 violated the constitutional rights of same-sex couples in California is the degree to which the court outright rejected the approach taken at the trial by Ted Olson and David Boies, the so-called Dream Team: Denying access to marriage for same-sex couples, they argued, is a constitutional injury because of the fundamental-ness and sacredness of marriage.
COLUMBIA SPECTATOR - February 15
Katherine Franke: 30 Years of Coeducation - Women on College Walk
Thirty years ago, Columbia’s new president Michael Sovern decided that the time had come to admit women into the undergraduate program. Columbia was quite the latecomer to change its male-only identity—our peer schools survived the decision to become coeducational more than 10 years earlier.
THE NATION—February 15 (print – March 5-12)
The Ugly Truth Behind Michigan’s Budget Surplus
Patricia Williams: Michigan is a model of fiscal recuperation. At least that’s what the headlines said as I stepped off a plane in Detroit recently: its spending was slashed so ruthlessly in the past few years that the New York Times quoted a former state budget director as moaning, “We were so far down that the floor looked like up to us.” But now there is a budget surplus projected for 2013, of anywhere from half a billion to a billion dollars, with yet sunnier fiscal predictions ahead.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s alternative abortion history
Last Friday, some of the most distinguished scholars and litigants working on gender and the law gathered to honor a foremother and inspiration, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as Columbia University Law School marked the 40th anniversary of Ginsburg becoming the first tenured female professor there.
THE COLUMBIA SPECTATOR—February 11
For GS Student, Prop 8 Was Personal
Columbia Law School professor Suzanne Goldberg has also been a part of the legal opposition to Prop 8. In October 2010, Goldberg—who is the director of Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law—filed an amicus brief in appeals court on behalf of the center, arguing against Prop 8. Any person or organization can file an amicus brief to provide information that might assist the court in reaching a decision. The appeals court’s ruling adopted some of the arguments presented in Columbia’s amicus brief, Goldberg said, adding that many organizations filed briefs.
ASSOCIATED PRESS (via THE HUFFINGTON POST) – February 10
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Questions Timing Of Roe v. Wade, Gives Hint on Same-Sex Marriage Issue
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested Friday that her predecessors on the high court mistimed the milestone 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. "It's not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far too fast," Ginsburg told a symposium at Columbia Law School marking the 40th anniversary of her joining the faculty as its first tenure-track female professor.
US NEWS’ DEBATE CLUB—February 9
Katherine Franke and Elizabeth Sepper: Obama Rule Respects Religious Diversity and Employee’s Dignity
“Should Catholic and Other Religious Institutions Have to Cover Birth Control?” The better way to frame the question is: Should employers with a corporate relationship to organized religion be permitted to avoid constitutionally protected health measures that every other employer must follow? Of course not.
THE HUFFINGTON POST (blog)—February 8
Katherine Franke: Court of Appeals Prop 8 Ruling – Treating Marriage as a License, Not a Sacrament
Rainbow flags and corsages were waving high in front of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village last night. There's much to celebrate about the 9th Circuit's ruling issued yesterday confirming the lower court finding that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. As I noted yesterday and Nan Hunter pointed out as well in her reading of the opinion, the reasoning used by the court minimizes the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take it up on appeal.
THE NATION—February 6
Patricia Wiliams: Our Dangerous Devotion to Eyewitness Testimony
“We see what we want to see,” my grandmother used to say. This insight visited me recently after I ran across the mall chasing a woman I thought was my cousin. It wasn’t, as it turned out, but I didn’t realize that until after I had puffed up behind her, bopped her amiably on the shoulder and cried out, “Boo!”
THE FEMINIST WIRE—January 26
TFW Forum on Palestine
By Katherine Franke
I return from a two-week visit to the West Bank wrestling with the complexities of solidarity in this region. The first half of my trip was as part of a delegation of 16 academics, journalists, artists, and activists who sought to better understand the relationship of Israeli occupation to Palestinian freedom and identity, particularly sexual freedom and identity. The group and its members identified as lesbian, gay, queer and/ or transgender. I stayed on for another week after the delegation concluded to begin work on an EU-funded project to enhance the role of women lawyers in the Palestinian Bar Association and in the legal profession more generally. Week One surfaced sexuality while admitting no interest in gender, while Week Two illuminated gender while leaving sexuality in the shadows. Of course the one cannot be fully understood apart from the other, but in practice it is difficult to keep both in view.
PRESS RELEASE—January 23
Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw Honored as a Southern California Freedom’s Sister
Columbia Law School Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw has been named a Southern California Freedom’s Sister by the Los Angeles–based Museum of Tolerance. Freedom’s Sisters is a traveling exhibition that pays homage to a group of extraordinary African-American women who have been influential in shaping the spirit and substance of civil rights in America.
PRESS RELEASE—Jan. 16
Sex-segregated public schools: illegal and unwise
Professor Emerita Vivian Berger argues that same-sex public schooling is a diversion of resources and illegal.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER – January 13
Gay, Binational Couple Joins Fight Against Federal Antigay Law
"In the immigration context," said Columbia University Law School professor Suzanne Goldberg, an expert on sexuality law, "DOMA tears binational gay couples apart."
PRESS RELEASE—December 19
Joy Ziegeweid ’12, Kate Stinson ’10 Awarded 2012 Skadden Public Interest Fellowship
Columbia Law School student Joy Ziegeweid ’12 and recent graduate Kate Stinson ’10 have been awarded prestigious Skadden Fellowships to further their public-service law careers. Ziegewied will use the fellowship to work at Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services, where she will represent Russian immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence or sex trafficking. As part of her fellowship, Ziegewied plans to advocate for her Russian-speaking clients in family court, and on immigration matters and referrals to providers of medical, psychiatric, and social services.
PRESS RELEASE—November 22
Broward County Law Requires Vendors to Offer Equal Benefits to Domestic Partners: Students in Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Helped Equality Florida Draft Legislation
The Broward County Commission voted unanimously on November 8 to pass an Equal Benefits Ordinance that requires companies doing business with Broward County to provide domestic partners with benefits equal to those offered to married employees. The law was drafted with the assistance of students in the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic.
THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL—November 21
Occupy Wall Street’s Message for Lawyers
By Katherine Franke
A scruffy-looking Occupy Wall Street protester takes out a big black magic marker and writes on a tattered piece of cardboard: "Ban 'Naked' Credit Default Swaps." Others hold signs calling for an end to "mortgage-backed securities" and "self-settled asset protection trusts." These demonstrations have a different, and more sophisticated, message than any we've seen before. "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho — Interest Rate Swap Contracts Have Got To Go!"
USA TODAY—November 19
Boeheim is all in With Defense of Fine
"The case is likely to face difficulty whether a civil lawsuit or criminal charges are brought because the time for filing a lawsuit or prosecuting a crime appears to have passed," said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia University law professor and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
NEW YORK TIMES—November 14
Why Herman Cain Is Unfit to Lead
Sexual Treatment of Women Now Part of the Open Political Process, Says Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw.
COLUMBIA SPECTATOR—Nov. 4
Gay man granted asylum with help from Columbia law clinic
A Columbia Law School clinic helped a gay man from the West African country Mauritania—where homosexuality is illegal—gain asylum in the United States.
PRESS RELEASE—October 25
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Secures Asylum for Gay Mauritanian Refugee
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic has won asylum in the United States for Ahmed A., a gay man who feared persecution because of his sexual orientation if he had been forced to return to his native Mauritania.
PRESS RELEASE—August 22
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Submits Experts Brief In Case before Inter-American Court
Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic submitted a brief amicus curaie Friday to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on behalf of 60 global experts in sexual orientation, gender, and family law. The brief argues that the Chilean Supreme Court violated the American Convention on Human Rights when it ordered Karen Atala, a lesbian mother, to relinquish custody of her three children because of her sexual orientation.
PRESS RELEASE—July 29
Reproductive Health and Human Rights Fellowship Awarded to Erez Aloni
Erez Aloni is the newest recipient of the Center for Reproductive Rights-Columbia Law School Fellowship, a full-time academic position designed to prepare recent law school graduates for legal academic careers in reproductive health and human rights.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL MAGAZINE—Summer 2011
Columbia Law School Magazine Profiles in Scholarship: Suzanne B. Goldberg
Katherine Franke on Morning Edition
Katherine Franke said she's thrilled for those same-sex couples clamoring to get married in New York, but isn't among the group eager to celebrate the institution of marriage: "I grew up as an adult in the '70s, when we were very critical of the institution of marriage. We saw it as a patriarchal, sexist institution," Franke said.
Katherine Franke on All Things Considered
Columbia Law professor Katherine Franke says in many cases, there are more than two parents in the picture. "Sometimes, it's a sperm donor, but it can also be just another important person. So, lesbian and gay people have formed very complex families, and need more flexible norms," she says.