Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law Professor Marisa Cianciarulo’s article “Refugees in Our Midst: Applying International Human Rights Law to the Bullying of LGBTQ Youth in the United States” was recently published in Volume 47, Number 2 of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
From the abstract:
This Article explores the severe bullying of LGBTQ students from a comparative international human rights perspective. Modern international refugee law, in existence since 1951 and accepted by 146 countries, provides a useful framework for evaluating the seriousness of the harm experienced by bullied LGBTQ youth in the United States. Applying international refugee law, this Article assesses whether the failure of U.S. schools and governments to protect children, who are victims of physical and psychological bullying on account of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, constitutes a violation of human rights such that were they to seek asylum in another country they would likely qualify. In order to make this determination, this Article assesses whether bullied LGBTQ students in the United States suffer harm severe enough to constitute persecution; whether the persecution occurs on account of the students’ membership in the particular social group of “transgender students and students with actual or perceived lesbian, gay or bisexual sexual orientation”; whether the federal government has refused to provide protection to such students by failing to pass legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, or legislation specifically aimed at protecting LGBTQ students from violence and other forms of severe bullying in schools; and whether individual state and local governments have allowed the persecution of LGBTQ students to proliferate by curtailing, refusing to enforce, or refusing to implement policies aimed at protecting them. This Article concludes with a determination of whether bullied LGBTQ youth in some U.S. locations are victims of state-sponsored or state-permitted human rights violations and provides appropriate recommendations.
Marisa S. Cianciarulo is a specialist in clinical teaching and immigration law with a human rights focus at Chapman University Fowler School of Law. She previously served as Director of Chapman’s Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Protection Clinic, which she launched in 2007. Before joining Chapman, Professor Cianciarulo taught in the Villanova Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services, served as a Staff Attorney with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration in Washington, D.C., was a partner in a law firm specializing in immigration matters, and served as interim legal director of a non-profit immigration services provider in Arlington, Virginia. Professor Cianciarulo received her B.A. from the Catholic University of America, her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, and her M.A. from American University School of International Service. She teaches Civil Procedure, the Family Protection Clinic, Gender & the Law, and Refugee Law and publishes on the intersection of gender and immigration with an emphasis on vulnerable immigrant populations. Other articles include “Seventeen Years Since the Sunset: The Expiration of 245 (i) and its Effect On U.S. Citizens Married to Undocumented Immigrants,” Chapman Law Review (2015), “Batterers as Agents of the State: Challenging the Public/Private Distinction in Intimate Partner Violence-Based Asylum Claims,” Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (2012), and “Unauthorized Americans and European Outcasts,” Georgetown Immigration Law Journal (2013).