Queer Judgments: Homosexuality, Expression, and the Courts in Canada

By Bruce MacDougall

© 2000

Chapter 15 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms now states that it is unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race, class, or sexual orientation. Although the letter of the law has been changed with regard to homosexuality, has the spirit of the people who implement the law been transformed as well?

Judicial response to cases concerning the rights of lesbians and gay men - decisions and the language used in the ruling - has a profound impact on social perceptions. Bruce MacDougall sifts through hundreds of reported and unreported cases of the past four decades in order to uncover the subjective assumptions and biases operating in the courts. In his examination of issues including gay bashing, homosexuality and the school system, outing, and pornography the author exposes the insidiousness of homophobia in society. MacDougall also assesses the impact of individual judges on Canadian society.

This study examines the rhetoric of judicial expression in connection with a vast array of material on the subject of homosexuality. MacDougall's style is refreshingly conversational, and "Queer Judgments", with its critical perspective, celebrates the reforms that have been achieved and suggests strategies for social change.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
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  • PUBLISHED JAN 2000

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    ISBN 9780802079145
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Quick Overview

MacDougall sifts through hundreds of reported and unreported cases of the past four decades in order to uncover the subjective assumptions and biases operating in Canadian courts.

Queer Judgments: Homosexuality, Expression, and the Courts in Canada

By Bruce MacDougall

© 2000

Chapter 15 of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms now states that it is unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race, class, or sexual orientation. Although the letter of the law has been changed with regard to homosexuality, has the spirit of the people who implement the law been transformed as well?

Judicial response to cases concerning the rights of lesbians and gay men - decisions and the language used in the ruling - has a profound impact on social perceptions. Bruce MacDougall sifts through hundreds of reported and unreported cases of the past four decades in order to uncover the subjective assumptions and biases operating in the courts. In his examination of issues including gay bashing, homosexuality and the school system, outing, and pornography the author exposes the insidiousness of homophobia in society. MacDougall also assesses the impact of individual judges on Canadian society.

This study examines the rhetoric of judicial expression in connection with a vast array of material on the subject of homosexuality. MacDougall's style is refreshingly conversational, and "Queer Judgments", with its critical perspective, celebrates the reforms that have been achieved and suggests strategies for social change.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.2in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    'Judicial expression in Canada regarding homosexuality has never before been examined in such a comprehensive fashion.'


    Gary Kinsman, Department of Sociology, Laurentian University
  • Author Information

    Bruce Macdougall is Associate Professor with the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.