Alison Lefkovitz, PhD, Associate Professor of History and Director of Law, Technology, and Culture, New Jersey Institute of Technology
We often assume that before marriage equality, we had only “traditional” marriage. But changes to marriage progressed more strangely than we might expect, especially in New Jersey. This program will use court cases to rethink LGBTQ+ rights, marriage, and the law. Cases involving a judge refusing to grant a divorce for a woman after her husband was incarcerated for sodomy, alimony for a transwoman, and custody issues for LGBTQ+ parents will all be explored. Through these court cases, participants can consider how our state was sometimes a haven for LGBTQ+ people in the past, at other times deeply oppressive, and nearly always representative of the forces against which LGBTQ+ people have had to fight.
Alison Lefkovitz is an associate professor in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark. She is the chair of the NJIT Federated History department and the director of the NJIT Law, Technology & Culture program. Her book, Strange Bedfellows: Marriage in the Age of Women’s Liberation, came out with University of Pennsylvania Press in 2018. Her work also appears in the Law & History Review, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, the Newark Star-Ledger, and the Washington Post.