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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Marieka Klawitter
POL S 404
Seattle Campus

Topics in Public Policy

Examines selected issues of importance in all areas of public policy. Focus on in-depth analysis of vital public policy issues and the integration of economic, political, and administrative perspectives on them. Offered: jointly with PB AF 499.

Class description

Description. In recent years, debates about the status of gays and lesbians in the military, same-sex marriage, and the inclusion of sexual orientation in state and local anti-discrimination policies have made national headlines. In the past decade, gays and lesbians have made some gains through private employers, courts, and state and local legislatures, but have also faced an increasing number of citizen initiatives aimed at unraveling those gains. In this course, we will explore the changes in public policies related to sexual orientation through the legal and social science lens. We will discuss these questions: * What are the laws and policies governing or involving sexual orientation? * How and why have the laws and policies changed over time? * Should laws and policies regarding sexual orientation be similar to those for race and gender? * How have beliefs and attitudes about sexual orientation affected individual opportunities and public policy?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

We will examine the legal, social, and political context for policy, then discuss existing and potential policies for employment, family relations, HIV/AIDS, and Youth. This course should provide students with a framework and analytical tools for evaluating sexual orientation issues. Also, the issue of sexual orientation serves as a vehicle for examining the determinants and the effects of public policies in the U.S.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments. Discussion questions (2-4 questions) for four class periods; two short papers (2-4 pages); one longer paper on an issue of the studentís choice (10-15 pages); and class participation.

Grading Papers: 60 % (Two short papers: 10% each; one long paper: 40%) Class/quiz participation: 20 % Other: 20 % (Discussion questions) TOTAL: 100 %


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 11/17/2000