A Legal Perspective on Sexuality and Organization: A Lesbian and Gay Case Study



This article argues the case for incorporating legal discourse into social theories relating to sexuality and organization. The central theme around which this argument is constructed is that of the heteronormativity of the workplace which is critically interrogated by adopting perspectives of lesbian and gay workers. The processes through which this heteronormativity is maintained are examined with particular emphasis on how notions of public and private are strategically deployed to this end. The legal case study evaluates judicial discourse in court judgments noting how it contributes to and reinforces heteronormative practices. Examples are drawn from litigation in the UK and in Germany, illustrating the broad range of discursive techniques in use which in part vary according to the qualities of the legal norm at issue.