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Carlos A. Ball
Carlos A. Ball is Distinguished Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Faculty Scholar at the Rutgers University School of Law (Newark). He is the author of several books, including Same-Sex Marriage and Children: A Tale of History, Social Science, and Law (Oxford University Press, 2014); The Right to be Parents: LGBT Families and the Transformation of Parenthood (NYU Press, 2012) and From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Cases that Have Changed Our Nation (Beacon, 2010). He is also a co-editor of one of the leading legal casebooks on sexuality and the law. He has written numerous book chapters, articles, and essays on LGBT rights. He holds an LL.M. from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Columbia University.

Entries by Carlos A. Ball

What the Supreme Court's Birth Control Case Means for Anti-Discrimination Laws

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 8:10 PM

Those who care about anti-discrimination laws in general, and the rights of LGBT individuals in particular, have much to be concerned about Monday's ruling by the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

The Hobby Lobby corporation, along with Conestoga Wood in a consolidated case,...

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The Supreme Court's DOMA Ruling and Children

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 3:23 PM

There are many striking aspects to the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling, but perhaps the most compelling is the role that children and their well-being played in the court's reasoning. For the last twenty years, same-sex marriage opponents have claimed that marriage must remain an exclusively heterosexual institution in...

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How Will Justice Kennedy Choose to Be Remembered?

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 1:09 PM

In the months leading up to the Supreme Court's decision last week to hear two same-sex marriage cases, much of the speculation has been on how Justice Anthony Kennedy will vote. The centrist Kennedy is widely viewed as holding the coveted fifth vote that will break the tie...

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LGBT Parenting Rights and the Courts

(5) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 12:11 PM

A pioneering federal lawsuit filed earlier this month by the ACLU in North Carolina encapsulates both the progress and the challenges faced by LGBT parents in our country. The nation has come a long way in recognizing that parenting is not an exclusively heterosexual endeavor. As recently as 30 years...

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Why the Supreme Court Should Hear the DOMA Lawsuit

(55) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 6:36 PM

Now that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston has struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Supreme Court should quickly agree to hear the case. In its DOMA ruling, the lower appellate court practically begged the high court for guidance on...

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Why Men Can Be Mothers Too

(7) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 11:40 AM

As we prepare to honor mothers on Sunday, we should keep in mind that the practice of mothering is not limited to women. There are many men in America today, married and single, gay and straight, who mother their children every day. I am one of them. My male partner...

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Why New Jersey Governor Christie Should Read the Proposition 8 Ruling

(38) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 3:53 PM

It is likely that by the end of this week, both houses of the New Jersey legislature will have approved same-sex marriage. The whole exercise may be for not, however, because Republican Governor Chris Christie has promised to veto the legislation. Christie believes that only heterosexuals should have...

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Why the Proposition 8 Ruling Has a Good Chance of Being Affirmed by the Supreme Court

(30) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 12:19 PM

It is easy to forget, at a time when the question of same-sex marriage dominates the current debates over gay rights, that one of the most important gay rights issues twenty short years ago was whether voters could enact state constitutional amendments prohibiting the enactment of laws protecting lesbians, gay...

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Right-Wing Hypocrisy on "Judicial Activism"

(6) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 10:52 AM

Conservative politicians and commentators are celebrating the decision by a federal judge in Virginia striking down the recently enacted health insurance legislation. This means that in the next few days we will hear repeatedly from conservatives how a federal court has agreed with the law's critics that it...

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Should Liberals Give Up on Politics?

(174) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 11:08 AM

As I think about the results of this year's midterm elections, there is a part of me that is tempted to give up on politics altogether. I am a 46-year old whose political life as an adult has been dominated by eight years of Reagan and twelve years of the...

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What the End of Florida's Gay Adoption Ban Tells Us About Our Country Today

(9) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 11:15 AM

Gay rights advocates have expressed a lot of frustration lately -- much of it aimed at the Obama administration -- about the seemingly slow pace of reforms that seek to end discrimination against gay people. Indeed, watching the slow and painful death of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy over...

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Why Bathrooms Are a Civil Rights Issue

(113) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 5:04 PM

Although it is not frequently acknowledged, bathrooms have been contested civil rights sites for several decades now. The civil rights movement during the 1950s fought to end the prevailing practice in some parts of the country of prohibiting African Americans from using so-called "white" bathrooms. In the 1970s, the women's...

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Is It Possible to Be Against Same-Sex Marriage Without Being Homophobic?

(354) Comments | Posted August 24, 2010 | 7:59 AM

A CNN poll released earlier this month has received considerable attention because it is the first national survey showing that a majority of Americans believe that same-sex couples should have the right to marry, a rate of support for gay marriage that is double what it...

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What Judge Walker's Ruling Tells Us About the Right's Twenty-Year Campaign of Spreading Fear on Same-Sex Marriage

(6) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 11:55 AM

The most striking aspect of Judge Vaughn Walker's ruling, voiding California's ban on same-sex marriage, is how it makes clear that defenders of Proposition 8 did not even come close to presenting evidence in court supporting their claim that gay marriages harm society and individuals. It is one thing to...

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Why It Is Easy to Be a Libertarian in America

(84) Comments | Posted July 22, 2010 | 10:07 AM

Less than two years after the near collapse of the American economy caused by good old-fashioned capitalist speculation in the housing market, libertarian ideology, as reflected most prominently in the apparent political clout of the Tea Party, is riding high again. This resurgence of libertarianism might strike some as surprising...

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Why the Defense of Marriage Act Is a Legal Albatross

(6) Comments | Posted July 9, 2010 | 2:17 PM

Fourteen years ago, Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act, one of the worst pieces of federal legislation ever passed. The law was always unnecessary and unwise. And on Thursday, a federal court in Massachusetts ruled that it is also unconstitutional.

The main impetus behind the 1996 law was...

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The Supreme Court Gets it Right on Gay Rights

(66) Comments | Posted June 29, 2010 | 11:49 AM

In this country, we are constitutionally entitled to speak and to associate as we like. But the Supreme Court ruled this week that our First Amendment rights do not entitle us to receive a government subsidy to pay for our free speech and association activities.

The lawsuit arose when the...

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Is It Time For Gay Federal Judges?

(25) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 2:51 PM

As the U.S. Senate begins hearings on President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, it is worth noting that if the nomination is approved, it will be the first time in history that three female Justices will sit together on the Court. Kagan would also be the...

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Obama and LGBT Rights

(65) Comments | Posted June 17, 2010 | 1:05 PM

For supporters of LGBT rights, the election of President Obama represented an apparent historical turning point for sexual minorities in our country. As a presidential candidate, Obama had said all of the rights things: he criticized the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy (DADT); he called for the enactment of...

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Gay Is Good

(25) Comments | Posted May 3, 2010 | 11:32 AM

In 1968, the pioneer gay rights activist Frank Kameny coined the phrase "Gay is Good," a slogan that was used with some frequency by gay rights proponents in the years following the Stonewall riots. The slogan, like the phrase "Black is Beautiful" of the same era, was meant to respond...

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