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Sexual Orientation and the Law   Tags: bullying, dadt, enda, equality, gay, lesbian, lgbt, lgbtiq, marriage, orientation, sexual  

This guide covers issues including marriage equality, employment and housing discrimination, child custody issues, and military policy.
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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CALI Lessons

Same Sex Relationships

This lesson addresses the legal ramifications of same-sex relationships, stresses comprehension of the arguments regarding the opposite sex requirement for marriage, and includes the various schemes states have used to address the controversies. Additionally, this lesson contains material relating to transgendered individuals who marry and international perspectives. It can be used as class preparation, supplement, or review.

LGBT Legal Blogs

  • Sexual Orientation and the Law: A Research Bibliography
    A special division of the American Association of Law Libraries' Social Responsibilities Special Interest Section, the Standing Committee was called into existence in 1985 to raise the profile of the profession's LGBT members, as well as to encourage libraries "to acquire legal materials on the role of lesbian and gay people in society."
  • New York Law School : Lesbian/Gay Law Notes
    Lesbian/Gay Law Notes, a publication of the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York, reports on lesbian/gay and AIDS related legal developments. It tracks significant new legislation, reports on new court decisions, administrative rulings, and executive actions, and highlights new publications of interest.
  • Queer Justice: Nolo's LGBT Law Blog
    The blog is written by Emily Doskow, a practicing family law attorney and mediator. Emily is also a Nolo editor and author of Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce and co-author of several Nolo books, including A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples and Do Your Own California Adoption: Nolo’s Guide for Stepparents and Domestic Partners.
  • Gender & Sexuality Law Blog
    The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law has established Columbia Law School as the preeminent law school for study of and specialization in the law of gender and sexuality.
  • Sexual Orientation and the Law Blog
    Written by Sara R. Benson of the University of Illinois and Steve Sanders at the Mayer Brown LLP.


Legal issues involving the lives and relationships of LGBTIQ peoples have become important issues in public policy, debate, and politics.  This research guide may be helpful in doing research in this topic area.

Suggested subject headings

Searching in the library catalog by subject-headings is a great way to aggregate similiar items together when you are unfamiliar with the titles, authors, and keywords.  Subject headings are assigned to each item in the library.  There may be more than one subject heading assigned to an item.  When you click on any of the subject-headings displayed in the catalog, you will see all the other items owned by Heafey that have also been assigned that subject.  This ensures that you are finding all the relevant items that may be skipped if you use simply a keyword search (because differnet terms may be used).  If you need any search assistance, please speak with a law librarian at the reference desk.

Locating the Law

The law librarians at the Southern California Association of Law Libraries have created a wonderful, and concise, guide to legal research that includes California, Federal, and International legal materials.  All of these documents are in PDF format.   You will need Adobe Reader to view them.

These are selected chapters from this e-book.  If you would like to view the entire book you can access it via the SCALL website.

  • Chapter 2 - How to read a legal citation
    This chapter will describe citations to cases, statutes or codes, and law reviews and treatises. A short discussion of legal citation manuals and a list of common abbreviations are also included in this chapter.
  • Chapter 3 - Basic legal research techniques
    This chapter is intended to serve as a guide for public librarians assisting users who have legal reference questions.
  • Chapter 5 - California Law
    The state of California has done a great job of making its primary sources of law widely available via the Internet. In addition, legal publishers publish a multitude of secondary sources1 in print and in online databases. This abundance of information has made researching California law easy for some and overwhelming for others. For those without a legal background (and most with one), it is always advisable to start with a secondary source.
  • Chapter 7 - Federal Law
    This chapter provides brief descriptions of the legislative process and the federal judiciary and focuses on the primary sources of federal law (i.e., cases, statutes, and regulations). Included are references to both print and Internet sources.

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