The ideal of equality was a vital part of the politics of the 20th century from beginning to end. Women who lived in the mature and established democracies of the world were especially successful in their attacks on laws that treated them as inferior to men. Voting, property, and matrimonial laws that treated women less well than men became relics of the past. This chapter looks at conflicting judicial opinions on sex discrimination, beginning with those cases in which the courts have struck down laws that open more career opportunities to men than women. It discusses sex discrimination, equal opportunities for women, equal opportunities for gays and lesbians, liberty, equality, and proportionality.
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