2015 David A. Garfinkel Essay Scholarship

How have the New York Courts addressed equal human rights for the LGBT Community?

NYS Community College Grand Prize: $1,500
CUNY Community College Prize: $1,000 • SUNY Community College Prize: $1,000

FALL 2014 DEADLINE: DEC. 12, 2014* / SPRING 2015 DEADLINE: APR. 1, 2015 Competition Open to all CUNY & SUNY Community College students Fall 2014 & Spring 2015

*Submit your essay by Fall 2014 deadline to be entered in a raffle to win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card

The New York courts and State Legislature have frequently been at the center of the debate over the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. Judges and legislators have considered these issues as they impact the family, campus life, employment and Criminal Law. The 2015 David A. Garfinkel Essay Contest asks you to explore how the courts and legislature have addressed LGBT rights and the impact of their actions.

Select from one of the four topics below and discuss the role and impact of significant cases and legislation on the LGBT community. Your analysis should draw on events leading to these cases & laws, who (activists, attorneys and judges) was involved, and how the issues were addressed. You may discuss current and historical events.

  1. Family Law: How has the law addressed LGBT families? Your essay can cover issues including, but not limited to: civil unions & marriage, adoption, spousal benefits and inheritance.

  2. Educational Law: Discuss anti-discrimination statutes and case law that concern LGBT students on campus.

  3. Employment Law: What types of discrimination have LGBT individuals faced in the workplace and how have rights in this sphere evolved?

  4. Criminal Law: Examine events of your choice in the evolution of New York’s criminal law that impacted LGBT individuals from the Stonewall Rebellion (1969) to the present. This can include the development of hate crimes legislation.

Previous Garfinkel Essay Contest Topics & Winners

2014: Who Watches the Watchers? Free Speech and Free Press in the Electronic Age

Judge Jenny Rivera with the 2014 Contest Winners

Winners of the 2014 David A. Garfinkel Contest with Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Jenny Rivera

L to R: Zachary Field, Judge Rivera, Lida Ramos Arce & Rhonda Parker

GRAND PRIZE: Zachary Field, Onondaga Community College: Prof. David Deacon / ESSAY [PDF]

CUNY PRIZE:Lida Ramos Arce, Queensborough Community College: Prof. Leslie Francis / ESSAY [PDF]

SUNY PRIZE: Rhonda Parker, Genesee Community College: Prof. Charles Scruggs / ESSAY [PDF]

2013: Cyberspace and the Law What are Our Rights and Responsibilities

2013 Grand Prize Winner Josh Pawlikowski Receiving his Prize at Law Day

The 2013 Grand Prize Winner Josh Pawlikowski receiving his prize at the Court of Appeals. (Seated are Chief Admin. Judge A. Gail Prudenti and First Deputy Chief Admin. Judge Lawrence K. Marks)

GRAND PRIZE: Josh Pawlikowski, Mohawk Valley Community College: Professor David Katz / ESSAY [PDF]

CUNY PRIZE: Ruby SIngh, Queensborough Community College: Professor Christine Mooney / ESSAY [PDF]

SUNY PRIZE: Zachary Field, Onondaga Community College: Professor Mary Bogin & Instructor David Hines / ESSAY [PDF]

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