Queer Phenomenology in Law: A Critical Theory of Orientation
39 Pace Law Review ___ (2019)
36 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2019 Last revised: 11 Feb 2019
Date Written: January 8, 2019
This article argues for the application of phenomenology to legal understanding, specifically as a way to think about and though queer people’s interactions with law as well as queer theory in law. There are both pragmatic and theoretical justifications for this project. The pragmatic justifications include the need to better address the legal issues and experiences of queer people, recent political and legal decisions and debates that affect queer people specifically, the need to better provide epistemological resources for queer lawyers, law scholars, law students, and their allies, and the need to better understand how law affects minoritarian populations regardless of specific identity characteristics. The theoretical justifications include the relative under-theorization of queer theory in law, the improvement of legal theory’s interaction with related theories in the humanities and social sciences, and the development of a more robust theory of everyday interactions with law consistent with individuals’ diverse experiences and identities. These justifications counsel for further study and attempts to account for diversity in law.
Keywords: queer theory, critical legal studies, legal theory, phenomenology, sexual orientation
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