When properly grounded in those complex realities, the doctrines of logical relevance, character evidence, and the legal relevance balancing test operate to exclude most evidence of defendant sexual orientation in sexual assault cases. Here, the judge engaged in the same logical conflation as did the prosecutor and appellate court in State v.
The court began by correctly concluding that the evidence should be inadmissible as to a propensity theory of relevance as improper character evidence.
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The life-course perspective focuses on development between and within age cohorts, conceptualized within a historical context. Similarly, in State v. Differences in gender identity and performance, including transgender identity, further complicate commonly held assumptions about sex, gender, and sexual orientation.
Indulging the fatuous notion that persons with literary or cinematic works by or about gays or lesbians more likely than not share that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with this case. Depending on the factual circumstances of a case, evidence that purports to be relevant via a victim selection inference may not survive a logical relevance threshold test.
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Overall, this case demonstrates a rational and non-discriminatory approach to managing evidence of defendant sexual orientation that is applicable in adult sexual assault cases. Along with a life-course framework, the committee drew on the minority stress model Brooks, ; Meyer, , a.
However, whether the defense is palatable or moral is not part of the legal relevance analysis as to a particular piece of evidence. This compromise allows the defendant, whose liberty interests are at stake in a contest against the formidable power of the state, to make an individual determination about whether to open the door to his or her sexual orientation in a specific case.
Central to the analysis was a separation of two logical inferences: 1 whether the evidence tended to prove the defendant was gay, and 2 whether being gay tended to prove that defendant possessed the requisite criminal intent.