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This Note argues that the justifications behind the First Amendment and the right to privacy are actually very similar: both seek to protect an individual's right to participate in government and to achieve self-fulfillment. Gay people who are outed are hindered in their ability to speak, their ability to participate in government and their ability to achieve self-fulfillment. Outing, because the justifications for privacy and the freedom of speech converge, rather than conflict, presents a good vehicle for reexamining the purposes and the bounds of the invasion of privacy tort in relation to the First Amendment.

Part I of this Note provides a brief overview of First Amendment theory, and then traces the relevant United States Supreme Court First Amendment cases. Part II provides an overview of the right to privacy, and then examines two representative privacy cases.'s Part III tells the story of outing, explains the political importance of coming out, explores arguments for and against the practice, and examines a case that approximates an outing. Finally, this Note concludes that outing, because it illustrates the convergence of privacy and political speech, shows the need to reexamine the invasion of privacy tort in relation to the First Amendment


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
1.67 MB



  • Subject
    • First Amendment

    • Sexuality and Sexual Orientation

    • Torts

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 36

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • 587

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022