This Article proceeds as follows. In Part II, the author catalogs the history of anti-gay hate crime laws in the United States, describing the rapid spread of state-level laws extending race- and religion-based hate crime laws to LGB people. The Article also provides an overview of federal legislation addressing anti-gay hate crime. In Part III, it examines the policy environment within which anti-gay hate crime laws have been, and continue to be, considered. Specifically, the jurisprudential frameworks that shape, define, and constrain discourses of equality, rights, and social identity are analyzed. The argument is made that the policy environment of antigay hate crime law has created a set of intractable discursive problems for advocates of anti-gay hate crime laws. Such laws' emphasis upon status categories in defining the harm, and the causation scheme implicated by hate crime tracking mechanisms and sentence enhancements, serves to undermine LGB discourses of equality and sexual freedom, and reinscribes binary conceptions of sex, gender, and embodied desire. In Part IV, the justificatory discourses embedded within the drive to enact and extend anti-gay hate crime laws are unpacked. The author demonstrates that utilitarian, expressivist, and retributivist discourses circulate in troubling ways throughout the anti-gay hate crime debate. Such justificatory narratives betray a fundamental ambivalence about the nature of sexuality, identity, and desire and, as a result, open the door to juridical investigations into, and evaluations of, different manifestations of passion. The author argues in Part V that sexual progressives ought to be suspicious of such investigations in part because they create the discursive space within which anti-gay discourses- such as that which authorizes the so-called "homosexual panic defense"-flourish. The Article is concluded in Part VI by considering the implications of the analysis of anti-gay hate crime laws for LGB advocacy generally.
Passions We Like… and Those We Don't: Anti-Gay Hate Crime Laws and the Discursive Construction of Sex, Gender, and the Body,
Mich. J. Gender & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjgl/vol16/iss1/1