Abstract and Keywords

This article contends that the modest contributions of comparative law acquire enhanced force when the claims made by constitutional interpreters are themselves immodest. In the context of sexual orientation, constitutional arguments often assume a categorical, ‘always/everywhere’ tenor that exposes them to contestation on comparative grounds. It develops this claim by focusing on three issues: bans on lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals from military service; the criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct; and relationship recognition for same-sex couples. The analysis uses US constitutional law as the primary point of departure.

Keywords: comparative law, sexual orientation, gays, military service, same-sex couples, United States constitutional law

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