In a lecture delivered in 2008, University of Chicago professor Geoffrey Stone confessed to the audience that he had been working on a book tentatively titled “Sexing the Constitution,” a project of “reckless ambition.” Almost ten years later, the book has hit the stands, renamed Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century, at a time when debates about sex and religion are more heated than ever. Beginning with a survey of law and sexuality in Greek and Roman
times, the book ends with an analysis of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decisions and their aftermath. The breadth of the work is staggering.
Earlier this year, I wrote a review of Professor Stone’s book in the Michigan Law Review, titled Sex and Religion: Unholy Bedfellows. I’m thrilled that Prof. Stone will be joining us this coming Friday as the keynote speaker at the First Amendment Law Review’s symposium on “Sex and the First Amendment,” co-hosted by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, to discuss his book and the many issues sex and religion raise for the First Amendment.
At a time when debates about sex, religion, and the law are more contentious than ever, the First Amendment Law Review is hosting some of the nation’s top constitutional law scholars to consider a wide-range of free speech, free exercise, and establishment clause issues. In addition to discussing the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and NIFLA v. Becerra, the symposium will address a broad array of topics relating to sex, sexuality, and religion, including but not limited to the constitutionality of conversion therapy legislation and other restrictions on professional speech; changes in communications technology that have undermined efforts to control explicit sexual images, including revenge porn and sex trafficking; the ongoing debate about whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be amended or repealed; the regulation of sexually oriented businesses; the constitutionality of the Federal Communication Commission’s ongoing regulation of “indecency” in broadcast radio and television; and the fascinating history of all of these laws.
The symposium will take place on November 16 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM at the Carolina Club at the University of North Carolina. There is a modest registration fee, but students can attend for free. For more information on the symposium, please visit the Center’s event page. To register, please go here.