Edward Stein

Professor of Law

Director, Gertrud Mainzer Program in Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics


B.A., 1987, Williams College

PhD., 1992, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

J.D., 2000, Yale University

Areas of Expertise

Family Law
Gender and the Law


     Edward Stein is the founding director of the Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics Program. His scholarship focuses on legal and philosophical topics related to families, sexual orientation, gender, reproduction, cognition and science. His publications include The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation and Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, both published by Oxford University Press. He has also been a contributor to the Huffington Post, Findlaw (The State of the Same-Sex Union Part One, Part Two, Part Three), and the American Constitution Society Blog.

     Before joining the faculty at Cardozo, he taught in the philosophy departments at Yale University, Mount Holyoke College, Williams College, and NYU. He has been teaching at Cardozo since 2000.


 •Judge Dolores Sloviter, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2001- 2002

Honors and Awards

 •Rockefeller Foundation Residential Fellowship, Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy, March 2008
•Bauer Faculty Research Fellowship, Cardozo School of Law, Spring 2008
•Dukeminier Award, Best Sexual Orientation Law Review Article, 2001, UCLA Law School
•Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies, Yale University, Teaching Fellowship, 1996-97
•Faculty Research Fellowship, College of Arts and Science, New York University, 1992-95
•University Curricular Challenge Grant, New York University, 1994-95
•Sloan Prize for Essay in Philosophy of Science, MIT, 1990
•Mellon Fellowship, Graduate Study in Humanities, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 1987-91
•Henry Rutgers Conger Memorial Writing Prize, Williams College, 1987
•Arthur B. Graves Essay Prize for Philosophy, Williams College, 1987
•Phi Beta Kappa, 1987
•John W. Miller Prize in Philosophy, Williams College, 1986

Professional Activities And Board Memberships

•Co-founder and Co-Chair, New York area Family Law Workgroup (2008-present)
•Co-founder of Emerging Family Law Scholars and Planning and Host Committee for First Annual Conference, June 2007•Member, Advisory Board, Sexuality and Law, Social Science Research Network (2008-present)
•Member, Faculty Advisory Board, Williams Inst., UCLA School of Law (2008-present)•Member, LGBT Rights Committee, Ass’n of the Bar of City of New York (2005-07)
•Co-Chair, LGBT Law Professors of New York Workshop (2007-10)•Member, “Bioethics and Disability Research Group,” Yeshiva University (2006-07)
•Member, "What Sorts of People Should There Be?," Research Group, University of Alberta (2006-08)
•Advisory Board, LGBTQ America Today, (John Hawley, ed., Greenwood, forthcoming 2007)
•Faculty Advisor, Same-Sex Marriage Conf., Yale Law School (2004-05)
•Reviewer, Cornell Univ. Press, Oxford Univ. Press (US & UK), Columbia Univ. Press, Univ. of Chicago Press, Routledge (US & UK), Westwood, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Reader’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Studies
•Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Homosexuality (1997-present)
•Advisor (applied ethics), Program Committee, Am. Phil. Ass’n (1998-2002)
•Member, Am. Phil. Ass’n, Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues (1998-9)
•Referee for Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Legal Theory, Review of Philosophy and Psychology, Pragmatics and Cognition, GLQ, Sexualities, Canadian Phil. Ass’n, Society for Philosophy and Psychology, The Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Biology and Philosophy, Signs, Journal of Homosexuality, North American Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Studies Conference, CUNY Research Awards Program



Articles and Essays

Sexual Orientations, Rights, and the Body: Immutability, Essentialism, and Nativism, 78 Social Research: An International Quarterly 633 (2011) PDF 
Looking Beyond Full Relationship Recognition for Couples Regardless of Sex: Abolition, Alternatives, and/or Functionalism, 28 Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice 345 (2010) PDF WestlawNext
Marriage or Liberation?: Reflections on Two Strategies in the Struggle for Lesbian and Gay Rights and Relationship Recognition, 61 Rutgers Law Review 567 (2009) PDF WestlawNext
The "Accidental Procreation" Argument for Withholding Legal Recognition for Same-Sex Relationships, 84 Chicago-Kent Law Review 403 (2009) PDF WestlawNext
A Functional Approach to the Spousal Evidentiary Privileges, 5 Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 374 (2009) PDF
Past and Present Proposed Amendments to the United States Constitution Regarding Marriage, 82 Washington University Law Quarterly 611 (2004) PDF WestlawNext
The Admissibility of Expert Testimony About Cognitive Science Research on Eyewitness Identification, 2 Law, Probability and Risk 295 (2003) PDF WestlawNext 
Queers Anonymous: Lesbians, Gay Men, Free Speech, and Cyberspace, 38 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 159 (2003) PDF WestlawNext
Précis of The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation, 21 Law and Philosophy 305 (2002) PDF JSTOR
Evaluating the Sex Discrimination Argument for Lesbian and Gay Rights, 49 UCLA Law Review 471 (2001) PDF  
Choosing the Sexual Orientation of Children, 12 Bioethics 1 (1998) PDF  
Ethical Implications of Medical and Biological Research on the Causes of Sexual Orientation, 5 Health Care Analysis 136 (1997), with William Byne PDF   
Can We Be Justified in Believing That Humans Are Irrational?, 62 Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 545 (1997) PDF 
The Ethics of Genetic Research on Sexual Orientation, 27 Hastings Center Report 6 (July-August 1997), with Udo Schüklenk, William Byne & Jacinta Kerin PDF
The Relevance of Scientific Research about Sexual Orientation to Lesbian and Gay Rights, 27 Journal of Homosexuality 269 (1994) PDF
Rationality and Reflective Equilibrium, 99 Synthese 137 (1994) PDF
Cordoning Competence: A Reply to Cohen, 99 Synthese 177 (1994) PDF
Why Sexuality Matters to Philosophy, 67 Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 81 (1994), with Morris Kaplan PDF
Evidence for Queer Genes, 1 GLQ: The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies 93 (1993) PDF
God, the Demon & the Status of Theodicies, 27 American Philosophical Quarterly 163 (1990) PDF JSTOR


The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory and Ethics of Sexual Orientation (Oxford University Press, 1999) Amazon 
Without Good Reason: The Rationality Debate in Philosophy and Cognitive Science (Oxford University Press, 1996) Amazon
Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social Constructionist Controversy (Routledge, 1992) (edited and wrote introductory and concluding chapters) Amazon
Book Chapters (selected) 

Sexual Orientation, in The Encyclopedia of Ethics (Ruth Chadwick, ed., forthcoming)
Spousal Secrets, in Secrets of Law (Austin Sarat, et. al, eds., Stanford Univ. Press, forthcoming)
Seeing Sexual Orientation Through the Lens of Gender, in Queer Philosophy: Presentations of the Society of Lesbian and Gay Philosophy, (Raja Halwani, ed., Rodopi, forthcoming)
Miscegenation, in 3 Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States 305 (David Tanenhaus, ed., Gale / Macmillan, 2008) Amazon
Same-Sex Marriage and Domestic Partnerships, in 2 LGBTQ America Today 717 (John Hawley, ed., Greenwood, 2008) Amazon
Biological Determinants of Sexual Orientation, in International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences 475 (William Darity, ed., 2d. ed., Macmillan, vol. 7, 2008), with William Byne Amazon
The Gay Gene, in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology 1830 (George Ritzer, ed., Blackwell, 2007) Amazon Online Access 
The Story of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health: The Bumpy Road to Marriage for Same-Sex Couples, in Family Law Stories 27 (Carol Sanger, ed., Foundation Press, 2007) Amazon
The Ethical, Legal, Social and Political Implications of Scientific Research on Sexual Orientation, in The Health of Sexual Minorities: Public Health Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations 135 (Ilan Meyer & Mary Northridge, eds., Springer, 2007) Amazon

Reviews, Short Articles, and Commentaries

Commentary for ‘After Gender’ Conference, 31 Pace Law Review (forthcoming 2011)

"Cut Religion Out Altogether," New York Times online (June 29,2011) debate on religion and marriage NY Times
Symposium on Abolishing Civil Marriage: An Introduction, 27 Cardozo Law Journal 1155 (2006) PDF WestlawNext
Wide Reflective Equilibrium as an Answer to an Objection to Moral Heuristics [comment on Cass Sunstein, Moral Heuristics], 28 Behavioral and Brain Sciences 561 (2005) PDF 

Introducing Lawrence v. Texas: Some Background and a Glimpse of the Future, 10 Cardozo Women’s Law Journal 263 (2004) PDF WestlawNext
Reply to Martha Nussbaum and Ian Hacking, 21 Law and Philosophy 349 (2002) PDF JSTOR
Review of Simon LeVay, Queer Science: The Use and Abuse of Research on Homosexuality, 35 Journal of Homosexuality 107 (1997)
Review of Andrew Sullivan, Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality, 3 Constellations: An International Journal of Critical & Democratic Theory 261 (1996), with Morris Kaplan

Blog Posts


Are Religion and Marriage Indivisible?: Cut Religion Out Altogether (NY Times, June 29, 2011)

Dramatic Victory for Same-Sex Marriage in California…But What’s Next? (American Constitution Society, August 5, 2010)

The State of the Same-Sex Union, Part I (FindLaw, with Joanna Grossman, July 7, 2009)

The State of the Same-Sex Union, Part II (FindLaw, with Joanna Grossman, July 21, 2009)

The State of the Same-Sex Union, Part III (FindLaw, with Joanna Grossman, August 4, 2009)

What Changed in Five Days: Gay Marriage in Iowa, Vermont and the Rest of the Country (Huffington Post, April 10, 2009)
Eulogy for “Marriage Evasion” in Massachusetts: 1938-2008 (Huffington Post, August 1, 2008)
McCain’s Gay Adoption Cant (Huffington Post, July 30, 2008)
Four Reasons Not to Get Married in California (Huffington Post, June 17, 2008)
Getting Used to Gay Marriage: Why Californians Won’t Reject Same-Sex Marriages Come November (Huffington Post, June 10, 2008)

Divorce: A Missing Piece of the Gay Marriage Debate (Huffington Post, May 26, 2008)

The Confusing State of Gay Marriage in New York and Elsewhere (Huffington Post, May 14, 2008)