Melissa Murray

Q&A: How will same-sex marriage ruling be enforced across the U.S.?

Melissa Murray interviewed by Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2015

“You should think of Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated schools,” Murray said, referring to the 1954 Supreme Court ruling that struck down separate-but-equal schools as unconstitutional. “But it actually took years for that to happen because so many Southern states dragged their feet.”

Why is marriage Supreme?

Melissa Murray quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2015

That’s a fine conclusion, Murray said, but “for those of us who are interested in the project of respecting different kinds of family forms, in making things good for children of single-parent homes, a Supreme Court opinion that venerates marriage sends the message that everything outside of marriage is not worthy of dignity.”

Same-sex marriage ruling affirms dignity for all

Melissa Murray quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2015

Melissa Murray … said the ruling exemplifies “constitutional dynamism, a Constitution that’s keeping pace with where we’re going.” But Murray, while praising the result, said Kennedy’s “doctrinal thread is a little loose” and fails to set clear standards for future cases.

Veterans of marriage fight savor victory

Melissa Murray quoted in The Recorder (registration required), June 26, 2015

Murray said the opinion’s “hyper-veneration of marriage” was especially odd to her since two of the justices joining the majority—Sotomayor and Elena Kagan—are not married. “Let me just say, that I’m thrilled that the result of this opinion is marriage equality. But I might be the only person in San Francisco muted in her enthusiasm,” Murray said. “It’s a very conservative opinion. Radical in outcome, I guess. But marriage is not radical.”

Groundbreaking textbook makes the case for reproductive justice field

Melissa Murray, Kristin Luker and Jill Adams quoted in Los Angeles Times, March 5, 2015

“There were lots of instructors who were interested in teaching, but the absence of a casebook was a huge deterrent because it means you actually have to compile the materials yourself,” Murray said. “It also suggested that the field was not a field at all because it hadn’t been defined by a book.”

“Reproductive justice,” Luker said, “suggests that having a baby is just as important as the right not to have a baby.”

“The publication of this book signals the legitimacy of the subject matter as an area of study, and also as an area of practice,” said Jill Adams. … “In legal education, these cases and concepts are given very short shrift. It’s a victory to have this subject matter encased in that familiar blue binding on the shelf alongside all the other well-established courses.”

New law book could change the face of reproductive rights

Jill Adams and Melissa Murray interviewed by Colorlines, February 27, 2015

“[The casebook] has the potential to enlighten a generation of legal thinkers and community leaders about how laws regarding sex, families and reproduction intersect with other areas of policy,” says Adams. “It could show how the struggle for reproductive justice is inextricably linked to efforts to … rework systems to meet the needs of marginalized communities and redistribute power.”

“The interest in controlling reproduction has been racialized almost from the start,” says Murray. “The earliest efforts to medicalize obstetrics and gynecology came from doctors who were experimenting on enslaved women. The criminalization of pregnancy has been laid out on the bodies of black women. There is a really racialized discourse in the effort to control reproduction and sexuality.”

South Korea legalizes adultery

Melissa Murray interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2015

In the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan and the Philippines treat marital infidelity as a crime. Twenty U.S. states allow civil or criminal prosecution for extramarital affairs but enforcement is rare, says Melissa Murray.

The first casebook on reproductive rights and justice law

Melissa Murray writes for ACS Blog, January 28, 2015

Limitations on access to contraception and abortion are, by their very nature, efforts to regulate sex and sexuality by curtailing women’s efforts to control reproduction.  The legal regulation of reproduction is merely part of a broader story of efforts to discipline and regulate sex.

Unlikely gay marriage pioneers tied knot in Houston

Melissa Murray quoted in Houston Chronicle (registration required) November 28, 2014

“What these cases did was to bring gay couples, loving couples to the forefront, out of the closet and out of the shadows,” Murray said. “I don’t think you could have a contemporary marriage movement without them.”