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Professor Spotlight

By By Samantha Abram, Special to The Chronicle

Elizabeth M. Glazer, Associate Professor of Law at Hofstra University, gave a lecture to around 40 students, faculty and community members on Wednesday titled "Sexual Reorientation." Glazer is a leading scholar on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

According to Glazer, in the past bisexuals have been "invisible," but now are "hyper-visible." The law is just starting to accept bisexual issues in harassment lawsuits and court cases. Glazer believes courts are reluctant to treat bisexuals as their own orientation under the law because they are seen as indecisive. This makes courts uncomfortable, she says, believing bisexuals change their minds and switch from preferring male to female at any time.

"I want to change the definition of sexual orientation under the law," Glazer said.

Glazer's goal is to open the eyes of the court system to include bisexuals in the law. She uses the term "general orientation" referring to the sex to which a person is attracted the majority of the time, as well as "specific orientation," referring to the individual's partner at a specific time.

She says in some cases these two are the same. However, for bisexuals it differs depending on the sex the person is with at the time. These terms would make it easier for courts to understand, as well as help people who identify as bisexual, in a sense that regardless of which sex their current partner is, their previous relationship with the other sex will not be discredited.

"It was informative and gave a new perspective on the definition of sexual orientation," said Christian Fuscarino, a senior television and broadcast major, with a minor in LGBT studies.

Glazer's paper on the lecture will be published in the Gerorgetown Law Journal in April 2012.

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