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15 Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Review 1 (2016)

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                                INTRODUCTION

Welcome to Volume 15 of The Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation and Gender
Identity Law Review Articles. Each year, hundreds of scholars, lawyers, judges, and law
students publish articles on law and policy regarding sexuality, sexual orientation, and
gender identity. The Dukeminier Awards, produced by The Williams Institute and
students at the UCLA School of Law, recognizes the best among these articles.

We publish The Dukeminier Awards to advance the following goals:

    *  To encourage scholars to begin or continue writing about sexuality and gender
       identity law and public policy and to provide valuable support and recognition for
       those who do so;
    *  To disseminate outstanding scholarship regarding sexuality and gender identity to
       the general public, as well as to lawyers, judges, legislators, and policymakers;
       and,
    *  To stimulate critical thought on cutting-edge topics and inform ongoing legal,
       political, and academic debates.

Producing The Dukeminier Awards also offers a unique educational experience to
students here at the UCLA School of Law. The Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Workshop, an annual seminar at the law school, which took place this year during
UCLA's January Term, provides a forum for students to read, think critically about, and
ultimately vote on articles thought to constitute the best sexuality and gender identity
scholarship of the year.

The process for selecting this year's The Dukeminier Awards winners began in fall of
2015, when The Dukeminier Awards student editors; Professors Jordan Blair Woods,
Douglas NeJaime, and I; and the three winners of last year's awards1 reviewed the 25
most substantial articles published between August 2014 and August 2015 that related to
gender identity and sexual orientation law. We selected six finalists, and the students in
the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Workshop read those articles. In response
papers and in class discussions, they assessed each article's substantive contribution,
rigor, style, and methodology and selected the three winners.

This year's winners include one senior, well-established, sexual orientation legal scholar
and two junior scholars, writing early in what will surely be long and productive careers.
The articles by the two junior scholars focus on historical insights that cast light on the
recent legal and political fights for same-sex marriage. James Oleske documents
religious objections to interracial marriage and explores why those objections, unlike

1 Last year's winners of The Dukeminier Awards were Professors Jessica Clarke, Brian Soucek, and
Elizabeth Sepper.

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