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Faculty experts

Same-sex marriage

LAW

Jesse ChoperJesse Choper
Professor of law
Phone: (510) 642-0339
Email: choperj@law.berkeley.edu
Law school media relations contact: Susan Gluss, 510-642-6936 or sgluss@law.berkeley.edu

Expertise: Constitutional law, federalism, church and state, U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Joan HollingerJoan Hollinger
Lecturer in residence, UC Berkeley's School of Law
Phone: (510) 435-9036
Email: jhollinger@law.berkeley.edu
Law school media relations contact: Susan Gluss, 510-642-6936 or sgluss@law.berkeley.edu

Expertise: Hollinger co-authored one of the many amicus briefs supporting civil marriage for gay couples in California.

Melissa MurrayMelissa Murray
Professor of law
Phone: (510) 643-6127
Email: mmurray@law.berkeley.edu
Law school media relations contact: Susan Gluss, 510-642-6936 or sgluss@law.berkeley.edu

Expertise: Family law, including marriage equality; clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, then of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

Russell RobinsonRussell Robinson
Distinguished Haas Chair in LGBT Equity Professor of Law
Phone: (510) 642-3932 (in New York last week of June; use email)
Email: robinson@law.berkeley.edu
Law school media relations contact: Susan Gluss, 510-642-6936 or sgluss@law.berkeley.edu

Expertise: Antidiscrimination law, race and sexuality, constitutional law

LANGUAGE

Geoffrey NunbergGeoffrey Nunberg
Adjunct professor of linguistics
Office: (510) 643-3894
Email: nunberg@berkeley.edu 
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Nunberg is the author of "The Years of Talking Dangerously" (2009) and has written extensively on language and other subjects for major newspapers and magazines. He does a regular feature on language for National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" program.

PREJUDICE

Jack GlaserJack Glaser
Associate professor of public policy
Office: (510) 642-3047
Email: jackglaser@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. "Much of opposition to same-sex marriage stems from homophobia and people give irrational justifications mostly having to do with parenting and 'undermining marriage as an institution' to justify their position," he says.

PSYCHOLOGY

Robert LevensonRobert Levenson
Professor of psychology, director of UC Berkeley's Institute of Personality and Social Research
Phone: (510) 642-5050
Email: boblev@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Yasmin Anwar, (510) 643-7944 or yanwar@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Levenson has co-authored numerous studies on marriage and relationships, including studies of same-sex couples. He says his research suggests that the key to partnership success (the ability to resolve conflicts and maintain a stable emotional climate) is the same for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. That said, same-sex couples may be better able to "step back from the emotional brink" when conflicts arise and tempers flare, Levenson says.

RELIGION

Daniel BoyarinDaniel Boyarin
Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and rhetoric, director of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at UC Berkeley
Phone: (510) 642-8356
Email: boyarin@berkeley.edu
Media Relations contact: Kathleen Maclay, (510) 643-5651 or kmaclay@berkeley.edu

Expertise: Boyarin is the author of several books, including "Carnal Israel" and "Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man." He co-edited "Queer Theory and the Jewish Question", a collection of essays about the intersections between Jewishness and queerness, and between homophobia and anti-Semitism.

Boyarin says the state should get out of the business of regulating and legitimizing marriage.