E.J. Graff

E.J. Graff writes on social-justice and human-rights issues, particularly discrimination and violence against women and children; marriage and family policy; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lives. She is a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center and the author of What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution (Beacon Press, 1999, 2004).

Recent Articles

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson!

In Vermont, the governor has nominated Beth Robinson to take a seat the state's Supreme Court. Robinson was the prime mover behind the state's Freedom to Marry movement, and one of three lawyers who brought the groundbreaking state case Baker v. Vermont back in the 1990s. That case led to the state's then-groundbreaking civil unions—and spurred a national uproar about the imminent descent of locusts, plague, and so forth. Robinson led the movement to hold that victory statewide, and then to upgrade it to full marriage rights a few years after Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to offer full equality. Like Mary Bonauto , the GLAD lawyer who's been the architect of New England's steady sweep of marriage wins (and whose carefully targeted lawsuits will be critical in dismantling DOMA), Beth Robinson has mostly ducked publicity. Here's a good profile of Robinson. She's one of the hardworking heroes around the country who've made full LGBT equality seem inevitable—and is...

Will Blackness Be the Thing that Gets You?

Have you ever heard the name "Danroy Henry?" I didn't think so—at least, not if you're white. A year ago, a Pace University quarterback was shot by a white police officer—either when he started pulling his car away from a bar instead of stopping as he'd been instructed, or when, with no warning, he was shot through his car's windshield. As The New York Times reported , "Mr. Henry, known as D. J., was a football player ... with no record of trouble, whose arms, which held the car's steering wheel, were tattooed with the words "Family First."" The Pleasantville, New York police officer had never shot anyone before. The football player is dead. The officer got an award as officer of the year. A week after that award , the young man's parents brought a lawsuit against the Pleasantville police . Did D.J. Henry die because he was black? This one haunts me. I am a white woman raising an African-American child. Less than a mile from where we live, a white cop arrested professor Henry Louis...

Must-See OWS Clip

This you gotta see. Really. ... in which Alec Baldwin very nicely talks with an Occupy Wall Street whacko and explains that what we really need is an active SEC, not one that's in the pocket of the banks.

Masculinity Patrol Strikes Again

Oh lordy no, not another gay teen suicide . Have you noticed that these are almost always boys? I believe it's because of the masculinity patrol , which can be, quite literally, deadly.

Blame the Supreme Court

Dahlia Lithwick explains that "Blaming Congress for the corporate takeover of American democracy is only half the fun; blaming the Supreme Court is almost better ." But Occupy Wall Street is lacking in ambition, she suggests, if it only focuses on Citizens United, she explains: Of course, if you want to focus the blame somewhere for big business growing ever richer at your expense, by all means start with Citizens United. But trust me, that's not even the interesting part of the story . The paradox is that the little cases we've all missed will hurt the little guy far more. And there are more to come, she says, from a Roberts Court that has been radically siding with the one percent and signing away the rights of the 99 percent.

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