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Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D.
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Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D., is an adjunct assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and New York University, and an investigator within the Division of Gender, Sexuality, and Health at the Columbia University Medical Center. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Entries by Raymond A. Smith, Ph.D.

As the GOP Debates Begin, Three Factors Explain This Year's Presidential Clown Car

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 4:34 PM

This year's overcrowded field of 17 GOP presidential candidates may be an amazing spectacle, but it really should come as no surprise. The so-called "presidential clown car" is parked at the intersection of three distinct rings in the circus of Republican politics: the party's internal unhinging, an extraordinarily wide-open political...

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Debunking Empty Arguments Against "Gay Rights" at the UN

(1) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 1:29 PM

"Gay rights" is a radical imposition of the decadent West, a neocolonial conspiracy, and an affront to moral societies. Or so we are likely to hear, now that the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has received a new report on best practices to combat the oppression...

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At the UN, 'Disappointment and Cautious Optimism' About LBTI Rights

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 12:19 PM

The 2015 session of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which just concluded in New York, involved thousands of delegates and hundreds of meetings. But, if a single theme resonated over and over again, it was that the work of advancing the human rights of...

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Time's 'Person of the Year' Spotlights the Crucial Role of Ebola Survivors

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 4:43 PM

The news that Time magazine has named responders to the Ebola crisis as their "Person of the Year" casts an overdue light on an underutilized strength in the battle: individuals who have been infected and survived.

Indeed, such survivors -- several of whom were featured by Time...

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New Yorkers Can Be Leaders in the Fight for Global LGBT Rights

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2014 | 12:04 PM

LGBT people still have plenty of struggles in the United States, including even here in New York. But many of our challenges pale by comparison with the atrocious -- and often worsening -- circumstances facing LGBT people in many other countries.

In nearly 80 countries, individuals face criminal sanctions...

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'Everyday Homophobia': The New Leading Edge of the LGBT Rights Movement

(5) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:17 PM

At the outset of the modern lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement in the 1970s, many early activists endorsed the powerful feminist slogan that "the personal is political."

With sweeping society-wide reforms seeming unlikely, the first generation of activists was often focused on the day-to-day experience of...

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Our Odd Upper House: The U.S. Senate's Peculiarities Don't End With the Filibuster

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 5:07 PM

The filibuster is back in the news, but that's just one of the peculiarities that make the U.S. Senate perhaps the world's oddest legislative chamber.

When viewed from an international perspective, three other features -- the extraordinary scope of its powers, its drastic misapportionment, and the exceptional...

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Vice President Bill de Blasio?

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 3:19 PM

In the spirit of it never being too early to speculate about 2016, did Bill de Blasio's big win in the NYC mayoral race just position him to be the next Democratic vice presidential nominee? If Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Democratic presidential nominee, he could be the ideal choice.

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Can There Be a Fourth Great Wave of AIDS Activism?

(7) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 6:11 PM

After years of seemingly being sidelined, AIDS activism has lately been back in the news, and activists themselves have been back in the streets, especially in New York. The 1980s and early 2000s brought three separate, intense waves of AIDS activism that forced the epidemic into mainstream consciousness and spurred...

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Is 'Gay Marriage' Really Newer Than Cellphones or the Internet?

(144) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 3:39 PM

As we await word from the Supreme Court about the future of same-sex marriage, it's increasingly common to hear how allegedly "swift," "unprecedented," and "accelerated" the advance of gay rights has been. Even as stalwart an LGBTQ ally as Frank Rich, in an article in the last issue of New...

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A Senatorial Centennial: How Congress Was Reshaped 100 Years Ago This Week

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 8:26 PM

If you think that dysfunction and elitism in the U.S. Senate are now at an all-time high, then this is a good time to recall that for the first 12 decades of American history, it was often much worse.

It was on May 31, 1913 -- exactly one hundred...

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An Asian-American Moment in U.S. Politics

(1) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 10:01 AM

The death of Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has deprived the nation not only of its longest-seated senator, but also the highest-ranking Asian American in history. As president pro tempore of the Senate since 2010, Inouye held one of just five positions created directly by the constitution, and was third...

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Rainbow Over the White House: Could Americans Elect an Openly Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual President?

(20) Comments | Posted April 17, 2012 | 11:40 AM

In an era when neither race nor gender, Catholicism nor Mormonism, seem to be insurmountable obstacles for presidential aspirants, could American voters ever elect an openly lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) president? The question has certainly been asked before, and no less a presidential expert than Jimmy Carter argued in...

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