UC Riverside Scholars Available to Comment Supreme Court Hearing Same-Sex Marriage Cases

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear two constitutional challenges to federal and state laws that restrict gay and lesbian couples from marrying. Two University of California, Riverside scholars, Ben Bishin and  Jane Ward, are available to comment on the cases and the larger issue of same-sex marriage.

The first case is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, which took away the right of same-sex marriage in 2008. The second is the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married.

Both have generously offered to allow us to send out their cell phone numbers to allow you to contact them this evening or over the weekend.

Ben Bishin

Ben Bishin

Ben Bishin, associate professor, Department of Political Science

Bishin is writing a paper on gay marriage and the political process, exploring how different institutions tend to enhance gay rights while others impede them. He also is researching how democratic societies should balance majority rule and the rights to liberty and equality when fundamental rights are at stake.

Bishin is the author of “Tyranny of the Minority: The Subconstituency Politics Theory of Representation” (Temple University Press, 2010). He is the recipient of the 2001 Jewell-Loewenberg Award for the best paper on legislative politics. His work has appeared in venues including: American Journal of Political Science, American Politics Research, American Review of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Public Choice, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Analysis, Public Integrity, and Polity.

Jane Ward

Jane Ward, associate professor, Department of Women’s Studies

Ward studies the racial politics of same-sex marriage and is prepared to speak on the cultural reverberations, the symbolic meaning, and the LGBT movement response. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara.

She is the author of “Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2008) and “Diversity Discourse and Multi-Identity Work in Lesbian and Gay Organizations” chapter which appears in “Identity Work in Social Movements: Negotiating Sameness and Difference in Activist Environments” (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756
E-mail: john.warren@ucr.edu

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