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From the Closet to the Courtroom - Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation
From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation
Author: Carlos A. Ball   Series editor: Michael Bronski
Product Code: 0078 ISBN: 978-080700078-6
Binding Information: Cloth 
6 X 9 Inches (US)
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Price: $27.95 In stock.
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Engaging and largely untold-how five pivotal lawsuits have altered LGBT history

Part of the Queer Ideas series—a unique series addressing pivotal issues within the LGBT movement
The advancement of LGBT rights has occurred through struggles large and small-on the streets, around kitchen tables, and on the Web. Lawsuits have also played a vital role in propelling the movement forward, and behind every case is a human story: a landlord in New York seeks to evict a gay man from his home after his partner of ten years dies of AIDS; school officials in Wisconsin look the other way as a gay teenager is repeatedly and viciously harassed by other students; a lesbian couple appears unexpectedly at a clerk's office in Hawaii seeking a marriage license.

Engaging and largely untold, From the Closet to the Courtroom explores how five pivotal lawsuits have altered LGBT history. Beginning each case narrative at the center-with the litigants and their lawyers-law professor Carlos Ball follows the stories behind each crucial lawsuit. He traces the parties from their communities to the courtroom, while deftly weaving in rich sociohistorical context and analyzing the lasting legal and political impact of each judicial outcome.

Over the last twenty years, no group of attorneys has helped to transform this country more than LGBT rights lawyers, and surprisingly, their collective accomplishments have received relatively little attention. Ball remedies that by exploring how a band of largely unheralded civil rights lawyers have attained remarkable legal victories through skill, creativity, and perseverance.

In this richly layered and multifaceted account, Ball vividly documents how these judicial victories have significantly altered LGBT lives today in ways that were unimaginable only a generation ago.

In the Media

Read Ball's piece about his book in Rutgers Alumni Magazine

Review   Publishers Weekly - March 22, 2010
"Ball approaches his subject with vigor and sensitivity and makes a poignant plea for justice."
Review   Lesbian/Gay Law Notes - June 1, 2010
"This should become a basic text for college LGBT studies courses and can be read with profit by all students of LGBT law, but it is also aimed at a more general audience and is recommendable to non-specialists as well."
Review   California Lawyer - July 1, 2010
“Carlos A. Ball is a law professor who understands the human dimensions of gay rights impact litigation, and he writes with the eyes and ears of a journalist—at times even a novelist—as much as with the mind of a legal scholar…he offers lawyers an enlightening shift of focus, enabling us to understand who "makes law" in this country, and what motivates them to do so.”
Review   Time Out New York - July 6, 2010
“In From the Closet to the Courtroom: Five LGBT Rights Lawsuits That Have Changed Our Nation writer Carlos A. Ball revels in a handful of important legal victories, while also delving deeply into the personal stories of each case, resulting in a richly textured account that is part history book, part colorful reportage.”
Review   Book Marks - July 5, 2010
“…this riveting book’s focus is on the parallel track of courtroom battles. The author blends lucid legal analysis, poignant portraits of the defendants and astute profiles of the attorneys involved in five cases.”
Review   Colorado Accident Lawyer blog - November 1, 2010
“This is one of the most relevant books ever to our community…This book should become a basic text for college LGBT studies courses and is also valuable to students of LGBT law.”
Review   Anderson Library blog - November 1, 2010
“Instead of a regurgitation of the court decisions, the author explores the back stories of the cases, providing a human connection to the parties named in the lawsuits.”
Review   Library Journal - August 1, 2010
“This will be of particular interest as the California gay marriage case wends its way through the courts and “don’t ask, don’t tell” features prominently in the news.”
Review   Find - October 5, 2010
“Unsurprisingly, Nabozny attempted suicide, multiple times, until his family moved to a different city. Years later, he sued the school district, contending that the school had violated his rights to equal protection on the basis of his gender and sexual orientation. More details on the case can be found in Carlos Ball's excellent book From the Closet to the Courtroom. Ball reports, for instance, that Nabozny's first lawyer wanted him to downplay the "gay" element to his bullying -- presenting his case as a harassment case, not an anti-gay harassment case in particular.”
Review By: Tracy Nectoux,   Smile Politely - November 12, 2010
From the Closet to the Courtroom is unhesitatingly recommended for anyone, gay or straight, who is interested in civil rights movements in this country. It is also recommended for law students planning to practice civil rights law. Finally, it is recommended for all LGBTQ people…We must learn our history, for that will ensure a more equal and safe future.”
Review   Choice Magazine - December 1, 2010
“While the gay and lesbian rights movement had its start in 1969 at the Stonewall in New York City, it has yet to have a book tell the story of its poster children and the legal struggles in which they fought. This volume amply fills this void...Well written, exciting, and fun to read. Excellent for collections on the law, gay and lesbian studies, and social change in the US…Highly recommended.”
Review   The Gay & Lesbian Review - May 1, 2011
From the Closet to the Courtroom deftly interweaves personal histories with accessible explanations of legal terminology…Carlos Ball’s careful account is valuable not only for its legal lessons but for its human stories.

"We owe Carlos Ball a debt for his uniquely illuminating account of gay rights litigation. He is a balladeer of the hitherto unsung heroes who litigated the major gay rights cases as well as a legal expert who is instinctively alert to law's reasons and contingencies. Perhaps only Ball could have given us a book on this topic that so delights and instructs.
-Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, New York University School of Law

"A prolific author and eminent legal scholar, Carlos Ball deftly and accessibly tells the rich and fascinating stories about the clients and lawyers whose cases have transformed LGBT life in the United States. Timely and deeply relevant, From the Closet to the Courtroom is a powerful testament to the role our lawyers and courts can play in creating social change."
-Nancy D. Polikoff, Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, and author of Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage

"A timely chronicle of how key legal battles reflect and raise the visibility of sexual minorities and compel society to take seriously their claims to equal citizenship. By revealing the people and stories behind some of the most far-reaching court cases in the history of the LGBT rights struggle, it brings alive the impact of litigation."
-Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Palm Center, University of California-Santa Barbara, and author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America

"This powerful book is a long-overdue tribute to the lawyers and activists whose work has changed many lives and resulted in landmark legal victories. Professor Ball dramatically resurrects each case, bringing together opposing attorneys and litigants to show how ordinary human conflict can translate to extraordinary civil rights gain. This groundbreaking book is crucial if we are to understand the history of the rights we take for granted, achieved by those who accomplished much, and against such tremendous odds."
-Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Project director for GLAD, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

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