Published: Feb. 28, 2011

Boulder – William N. Eskridge, Jr., the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School, has been named the 54th Annual John R. Coen lecturer. Eskridge’s speech, Discrimination to Protect Liberty, will be presented on Wednesday, March 16 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the Wittemyer Courtroom at the University of Colorado Law School. A reception will immediately follow in Boettcher Hall. Between 1990 – 1995, Eskridge represented one of the first gay couples who sued for recognition of their same-sex marriage. Since then, he has published a field-establishing casebook, three monographs and dozens of law review articles, providing a legal and political framework for proper state treatment of sexual and gender minorities.  The historical materials in Eskridge’s book Gaylaw: challenging the apartheid of the closet, formed the basis for a brief he drafted for the Cato Institute and for much of the Supreme Court’s (and the dissenting opinion’s) analysis in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which invalidated consensual sodomy laws. His most recent book, written with Darren Spedale, is Gay Marriage: For Better or For Worse? Eskridge received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Davidson College, his masters in History from Harvard and his J.D. from Yale. The John R. Coen Lecture Series was established through a trust in 1955 for an annual lecture by a prominent and distinguished lawyer, jurist or scholar on a legal subject of interest and benefit to the profession. About University of Colorado Law SchoolEstablished in 1892, the University of Colorado Law School ( is a top 25 public law school located at the base of the inspiring Rocky Mountains. Colorado Law’s 500 students, selected from among the statistically best applicants in the nation, represent 100 undergraduate institutions and diverse backgrounds. The school has dual degree programs in business, environmental studies, telecommunications, and public affairs. With a low faculty-to-student ratio, its highly published faculty is dedicated to interacting with students inside and outside the classroom. The school’s 8 clinics and 4 centers focus on areas of strength, including natural resources and environmental, American Indian, juvenile and family, telecommunications policy, and sustainable energy law. Colorado Law’s graduates are leaders in their profession and committed to public interest work.