“Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know about Their Legal Rights”– a legal guide

Keen, Lisa. “Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights”, Beacon Press, 2007.

A Legal Guide

Amos Lassen

There are many legal issues that we as GLBT people face and there are many legal rights that we have that many of us are simply unaware of. With the publication of Lisa Keen’s “Out Law”, we know can know where we stand in terms to today’s legal system. Keen is a journalist and she has written a handbook that is indispensable introduction to the legal system of America in regards to the rights of LGBT youth. Here is a systematic and comprehensive look that every person should become aware of and which every library should have a copy. If we are to survive, we must know our rights. Basically written for students, it has something for everyone. It covers not only the Constitution but local statutes as well and gives invaluable information about the rights of free speech, privacy, assembly, and much more.

Keen’s analysis is clear, sharp and coherent. It begins by looking at gay legislation and Keen explains that the road to empowerment is easier to travel upon if we know what our rights are. She further tells us that we must stand up for what we believe in and for what is legally ours. Harassment or facing threats from police, teachers, kids at school or other citizens can de dealt with legally if we know what the law says. She also gives us examples of what happens if we do not stand up for what s legally ours alongside of examples of those who did stand up and by doing so made a difference. It is not only our community that can be affected by standing up but the overall state of gay legislation.

Added to text are eight appendices, a glossary and pages of notes. Mixed in with everything else is the history of the gay community, information about sexual orientation and preference and hints for activism. This is a book that no one should be without.

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