"As lesbians and gay men have intensified their fight for equal rights and recognition in American society over the past several decades, issues involving sexual orientation have been hotly contested in social, religious, ethical, legal, and political contexts. The law has proved a primary battleground, for it is the law that establishes the contours of sexuality itself and mediates social questions such as how "open" lesbians and gay men can be about their sexuality, where and under what conditions gay people can work, whether they can marry or adopt children, and so on." "In a fresh attempt to focus attention on this rapidly evolving field, William B. Rubenstein, the director of the ACLU's national Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, designed for Harvard Law School one of the first courses in the United States to examine both the history of the legal treatment of lesbians and gay men and the many current arenas in which related debates are raging. Rubenstein's anthology, Lesbians, Gay Men, and the Law is the first published casebook in this field." "Rubenstein places reported cases and other legal readings in a historical framework and complements the legal texts with selections ranging from fiction and poetry to psychology, sociology, theology, oral history, and journalism. Organized according to the life experience of lesbians and gay men, the book includes chapters entitled, "What we talk about when we talk about sexual orientation," "Having sex/making love," "Coming out/speaking out/joining in," "Working," "Coupling," and "Parenting."" "The result is a pathbreaking documentary reader and an essential sourcebook for anyone interested in gay and lesbian issues."--Jacket.