The Homophobic Origins of U.S. Law


From Origin Of Everything.

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Laws are intended to maintain order and promote justice, but what happens when those laws promote and spread discrimination and bigotry? Today Danielle analyzes the homophobic history of US law, tracing its origins in colonialism all the way to present-day court cases like Obergefell v. Hodges. This is the second video in our examination of legal discrimination in the United States.

Special thanks to our Historians Harry Brisson and Melanie-Antonietta Brown and Archivists Rachel Brice, Mathilda Murray, and Jafra D. Thomas on Patreon!
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Created and Hosted by Danielle Bainbridge
Produced by Complexly for PBS Digital Studios

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Origin of Everything is a show about the undertold histories and cultural dialogues that make up our collective story. From the food we eat, to the trivia and fun facts we can’t seem to get out of our heads, to the social issues we can’t stop debating, everything around us has a history. Origin of Everything is here to explore it all. We like to think that no topic is too small or too challenging to get started.

Works Cited:

Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States by Andrea Ritchie, Joey L. Mogul, and Kay Whitlock
From the Closet to the Courtroom Carlos A. Ball and Michael Bronski
The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. The United States of America Eric Cervini
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity C. Riley Snorton
Race, Gender and Punishment: From Colonialism to the War on Terror ed. Mary Bosworth and Jeanne Flavin
Chapter 11: “Latina Imprisonment and the War on Drugs” Juanita Diaz-Cotto
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America Richard Rothstein
Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control Vesla Weaver and Amy E. Lerman
Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide Andrea Smith
The Delectable Negro: Human Consumption and Homoeroticism within US Slave Culture Vincent Woodard
Dishonorable Passions: Sodomy Laws in America 1861-2003 William N. Eskridge Jr.

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