The clinic works on many projects challenging discrimination related to sexuality and gender.
In addition to the publications described here, check the Criminal Law issues section of this website for discussion of discriminatory sex sting operations.
Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Files Brief in Trump’s Transgender Military Ban Case: President Trump’s ban on military service by transgender individuals runs counter to decades of well-settled judicial decisions forbidding the government from entrenching sex stereotypes in law, according to an amicus brief filed July 3 in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by Columbia Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic in a case challenging the ban.
Brief of Amici Curiae in Karnoski v. Trump
Brief of Amici Curiae in the Supreme Court Case of Lynch v. Morales-Santana:
Relying on national and international data, the brief argues that “the challenged law’s imposition of extra barriers on nonmarital fathers’ passage of U.S. citizenship to ntheir children—barriers that it does not place on nonmarital mothers—appears to nreflect flawed gender stereotypes about the likely involvement of unwed fathers in their children’s lives.”
Brief of Amici Curiae in Lynch v. Morales-Santana
Comments on Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities offers recommendations on how to best implement the non-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. Drafted by the Williams Institute and signed by Clinic Director Suzanne Goldberg, the comments argue that the administrative rule should define sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sex stereotypes, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The comments detail the ways in which courts and federal agencies have interpreted sex discrimination to include these three bases, providing a useful overview of relevant law for anyone litigating a sex discrimination case.
Comments on Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities
Elder Equality: A Roadmap for Supporting and Protecting LGBT Seniors outlines policy changes states can make to improve the lives of LGBT seniors. The clinic prepared the report in advance of the first White House LGBT Conference on Aging, held in Miami in May 2012. The report highlights the difficulties LGBT people face as they age, including discrimination, social isolation, and financial insecurity. The report focuses on state legislative and administrative agency changes to caregiving, housing, and health care programs in Florida, and also sets out recommendations that advocates throughout the country can use as a model.
Elder Equality: A Roadmap for Supporting and Protecting LGBT Seniors
Brief of Amici Curiae Wingspan and One Voice Community Center is an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit that the clinic co-authored in support of the plaintiff-appellees in Collins v. Brewer. The case involves a challenge to an Arizona law that eliminated domestic partner health benefits for lesbian and gay state employees, while retaining spousal health benefits for heterosexual workers. In this brief, the clinic urged the court to address the proper level of scrutiny for sexual orientation-based classifications and argued that laws distinguishing between gay and nongay people require strict scrutiny, the most stringent constitutional standard applied in equal protection cases.
Collins v. Brewer Amicus Brief
Open Service and Our Allies: A Report on the Inclusion of Openly Gay and Lesbian service members in U.S. Allies' Armed Forces is a report the clinic submitted to Congress in May 2010 in connection with Congressional deliberations regarding the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” The report examines the transition to open military service in Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom, and, from this data, suggests insights for the U.S. military's transition away from "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." More specifically, the report documents the decision to implement open service in these countries and the effect of open service on unit cohesion and military performance, barracks and showers, sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policies, and relationship recognition. The report also addresses U.S. military service in multinational forces that include openly gay and lesbian service members.
Open Service and Our Allies Report
Defending Your Rights: A Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual User's Guide to the New York City Commission on Human Rights is a widely circulated how-to guide for anyone who believes they have suffered discrimination and might want to file a claim in New York City’s Human Rights Commission. It aims, in part, to help people enforce their rights under the New York City Human Rights Law, which makes it illegal to discriminate in the city because of gender identity or sexual orientation.
The Guide, published in 2008 by the Sexuality And Gender Law Clinic at Columbia Law School, is also useful for anyone who has experienced discrimination. Its step-by-step approach helps readers who are thinking about documenting and possibly pursuing a discrimination claim.
Please note that Defending Your Rights provides general information, but cannot give you advice about your specific situation. If you have questions about your own case, contact one of the organizations listed in the Appendix at the end of the attached PDF.
Defending Your Rights PDF
Defendiendo sus Derechos: Guía de Usuario para Personas Transgénero, Lesbianas, Gay, y Bisexuales para la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de Nueva York. Preparada por la Clínica Legal de Género y Sexualidad, Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Columbia, Agosto 2008
La ley de la ciudad de Nueva York titulada “Ley de Derechos Humanos de la Ciudad de Nueva York” (“The New York City Human Rights Law”) criminaliza la discriminación en la ciudad por razones de identidad sexual u orientación sexual.
Esta guía describe la ley y explica los métodos que usted puede utilizar para protegerse contra la discriminación.
Defendiendo sus Derechos ofrece información general pero no pretende proveer aviso sobre su situación particular. Si usted tiene preguntas a cerca de su propio caso o problema de discriminación, póngase en contacto con una de las organizaciones enumeradas en el apéndice al final del guía.
Defendiendo Tus Derechos PDF