Efforts to overcome discrimination based on sexual orientation have been part of a more generalized agenda of civil rights. These efforts have been played out in the streets, in major institutions, and in the courts.
What do the politics of statewide elections and the presidential race of 2008 tell us about efforts to remedy the effects of discrimination on gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals?
The panelists who will deal with issues of marriage and the family, employment, health and well-being to assess electoral politics and the interests of a gay constituency include Judith Stacey, professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, Sociology Department, NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and author of In the Name of the Family: Rethinking Family Values in the Postmodern Age; Shannon Minter, legal director of The National Center for Gay Rights and lead attorney for same-sex couples in the marriage case recently decided by the California Supreme Court, and Richard Goldstein, journalist and author of Homocons: Liberal Society and the Gay Right.
Moderated by Robert-Jay Green, Executive Director, Rockway Institute, Alliant International University. Sponsored by the Wolfson Center for National Affairs in partnership with the Alliant International University's Rockway Institute for Science and LGBT Public Policy- The New School
David S. Buckel is Senior Counsel and the Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV.
Richard Goldstein writes about the connections between pop culture, politics and sexuality. He is the author of Homocons: Liberal Society & The Gay Right.
Dr. Robert-Jay Green
Robert-Jay Green, PhD is the Founder and Executive Director of the Rockway Institute. He also is Distinguished Professor in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at the California School of Professional Psychology - the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit school of professional psychology, which is now a graduate division of Alliant International University.
Among his over 70 publications are two co-edited books: Family Therapy: Major Contributions (New York: International Universities Press, 1981); and Lesbians and Gays in Couples and Families (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Wiley, 1996).
His main areas of research over the last 30 years have included gay and lesbian couples and families; male gender role socialization; the measurement of couple and family relationship processes; multicultural issues in family functioning; the impact of family relations on children's academic achievement; and couple and family therapy.
Dr. Green previously served as Executive Director and President of the board of the nonprofit Alternative Family Institute in San Francisco (the nation's first counseling center exclusively devoted to LGBT couple and family issues) and as Founder and Co-Director of Redwood Center Psychology Associates in Berkeley (one of the San Francisco Bay Area's leading couple and family therapy training centers).
In 1998, Dr. Green received the award for Significant Contributions to the Study of Family Diversity from the Division of Family Psychology, American Psychological Association. He also received the 2001 award for Distinguished Contributions to Family Systems Research from the American Family Therapy Academy. He was one of the founding committee members and continues as a senior research scholar of the Council on Contemporary Families.
Dr. Green has served on the editorial advisory boards of Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Family Process, Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, Journal of GLBT Family Studies, and American Journal of Family Therapy. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Judith Stacey is sociology professor at New York University's Center of the Study of Gender and Sexuality.
Previously she had taught at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Davis. Dr. Stacey's works focus on feminism, gender and cultural studies, and the political arena of the family and sexuality.
She is most noted for her research with gay and lesbian families. Dr. Stacey has written four books, has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and lectured extensively throughout the country.
Sad as it is to say, I think Goldstein is right about President Obama. He seems more than willing to accept the support of the gay community without stepping up to guarantee their freedom. We'll see how hard he pushes on DADT, but I certainly don't expect him to lead any charge for equality. At least he throws us some crumbs and acknowledges that gay people exist in this country unlike previous presidents.