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384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, index

ISBN  978-1-4696-0088-8
Published: February 2013

Sexual Injustice

Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe

By Marc Stein

Awards & Distinctions

2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

Focusing on six major Supreme Court cases during the 1960s and 1970s, Marc Stein examines the generally liberal rulings on birth control, abortion, interracial marriage, and obscenity in Griswold, Eisenstadt, Roe, Loving, and Fanny Hill alongside a profoundly conservative ruling on homosexuality in Boutilier. In the same era in which the Court recognized special marital, reproductive, and heterosexual rights and privileges, it also upheld an immigration statute that classified homosexuals as "psychopathic personalities." Stein shows how a diverse set of influential journalists, judges, and scholars translated the Court's language about marital and reproductive rights into bold statements about sexual freedom and equality.

About the Author

Marc Stein is professor of history and of gender, sexuality, and women's studies at York University in Toronto. He is author of Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement and City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia. He is editor-in-chief of the award-winning Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America.


"Outstanding for collections on gay rights and the law. . . . Highly Recommended."

"A valuable legal history of the period often referred to as the sexual revolution."
--Journal of Southern History

"An important, readable, and persuasive book. . . . After reading this important new study, readers will indeed think twice before celebrating a sexual revolution in the Court."
--Law and History Review

"Stein's invaluable study . . . make[s] it required reading for anyone seeking to understand the changing relationship between law and sexuality."
--The American Historical Review

"Stein is the first scholar to examine this episode in any depth and to tell Boutilier's tragic story following the Supreme Court ruling."
--YFile, York University's Daily Bulletin

"Offers a sophisticated understanding of the narrow outlook of the Court on issues of sexual rights. . . . An important contribution to the history of law, sexuality, immigration, and citizenship. . . . In addition to his brilliant interpretation of these cases, Stein also presents a beautiful discussion of his approach and methodology as well as a remarkable transparency in his use of potentially difficult sources. . . . Offers a remarkable model and a useful example for all historians."
--H-Net Reviews

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