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Are We 'Persons' Yet?: Law and Sexuality in Canada

Are We 'Persons' Yet?: Law and Sexuality in Canada (Hardback)

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Synopsis

In 1929, the Privy Council of Canada declared that women were "persons" under the British North America Act. Seventy years later, a similar move is afoot to establish 'constitutional personhood' for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and transgendered people. In Are We "Persons" Yet?, Kathleen A. Lahey documents the minimal extent to which human rights laws have improved the legal status of sexual minorities in Canada. She argues that, despite the significant legal progress made with the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the traditional legal definition of "persons" continues to limit the legal, social, economic, and political freedom of queer people. Using an interdisciplinary approach, Lahey presents a historical analysis of litigation relating to sexuality and of the most recent constitutional decisions on sexuality in Canada and the United States. Further discussion concerns immigration law, inheritance law, and same-sex marriage, as well as the widespread exclusion of queers from government census and other statistical surveys. Are We "Persons" Yet? provides an excellent model for the analysis of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, sexuality, and marital status and a valuable reference for academics and activists alike.

Kathleen A. Lahey is Professor and Queen's National Scholar, Faculty of Law, and is cross-appointed to the Institute of Women's Studies, at Queen's University.

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