Date on Honors Thesis

Fall 12-2021


Political Science



Examining Committee Member

Paul Foote, PhD, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Ihsan Alkhatib, JD, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Marc Polizzi, PhD, Committee Member


This research examines the comparative efficacy of federal appellate court decisions and federal legislation with regards to the furtherance of civil rights on the basis of sexual orientation. The research examines efficacy based upon the number of measures which have been implemented as well as the content of each measure. The research examines federal appellate and Supreme Court decisions, as well as adopted pieces of federal legislation since 1950. It also examines the likely causes of the disparities in efficacy that are indicated in this analysis. The findings of this research indicate that litigation has been much more effective at expanding the scope of civil rights protection afforded to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.