Invisible to the law: Queer identity in Romer v. Evans

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Title: Invisible to the law: Queer identity in Romer v. Evans
Author: Garner, Kevin T.
Abstract: The case of Romer v . Evans (1996 ) is examined through close textual analysis to explicate the ways in which the language of the United States court system frames sexual preference and sexual orientation in favor of heteronormativity . The language of the Supreme Court , as well as the language of local courts , excludes the sexual orientations of gays , lesbians , bisexuals , transgender , and queer persons (GLBTQ ) while simultaneously giving preference to the sexual identity of homosexual persons , recognized secondarily to heterosexual identities . Despite the pro -queer rights ruling in Romer , Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion and Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion construct a negative queer identity . Justice Kennedy’s opinion , in an initial reading , seems to support queer persons , however , a close reading reveals his exclusion of certain sexual minorities from the legal precedent and establishes instances in which the State can harm queer persons . Justice Scalia’s opinion creates queer identity as a sin , which breaks both secular and religious covenants and risks the destruction of United States’ culture ; thus utilizing the rhetorical tool of the jeremiad . As a result of excluding queer persons , implications include the dehumanization of queer individuals , the lack of a coherent rhetorical strategy for the queer rights movement , and a reinforcement of the power hierarchy between heterosexual persons and queer individuals .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /10689
Date: 2009-05


Invisible to the law: Queer identity in Romer v. Evans. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /10689 .

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