This book tells the stories of table historical figures who, by resisting patriarchal laws condemning adultery, gay and lesbian sex, and sex across the boundaries of religion and race, brought about lasting social and political change. Constitutional scholar David A. J. Richards investigates the lives of leading transgressive artists, social critics, and activists including George Eliot, Benjamin Britten, Christopher Isherwood, Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, Elear Roosevelt, and Margaret Mead. Richards shows how ethical empowerment, motivated by love, allowed these figures to resist the injustices of anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia, leading to the constitutional condemnation of these political evils in the United States, Britain, and beyond. Love and law thus grow together, and this book shows how and why. Drawing from developmental psychology (including studies of trauma), political theory, the history of social movements, literature, biography, and law, this book will be a thought-provoking tool for anyone interested in civil rights.
David A. J. Richards is Edwin D. Webb Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and criminal law. He is the author of nineteen books, including recently The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy's Future (with Carol Gilligan, 2009), Fundamentalism in American Religion and Law (2010), and The Rise of Gay Rights and the Fall of the British Empire (2013).