Dual Federalism and the State of Gay Rights

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?Dual Federalism and the State of Gay rights? aims to assess the efficacy of federal vs. state policy in integrating the gay community into mainstream society. Relying upon analysis of news articles, public opinion polls, and scholarly articles and books, this project, draws historical comparisons between the gay rights and the civil rights movements, particularly with regards to anti-miscegenation laws, and the legacy of the Plessy V. Ferguson separate and unequal legal system. In addition to domestic historical parallels, contemporary international comparisons are drawn with Canada and South Africa, which are two of eight countries that have legalized, at the Federal level, gay marriage. A recommendation is ultimately made, advocating unification of gay rights legislation at the federal level. To do so, however, requires multilateral efforts by many branches of Federal and State governments, as well as continuing public support for the liberalization of gay rights. Additionally, interviews with politicians, legal experts, and political advisors are included to enhance both my personal understanding of issues from the ?expert? perspective, as well as offer possible policy suggestions to be incorporated into my final policy proposal.


Regina Freer




Anderson Fund Grant

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