Barbara Cox is the Clara Shortridge Foltz Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego. She began teaching at California Western School of Law in 1987, after four years with a joint appointment in the Law School and the Women's Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at California Western from July 1997 through December 2001. She is the past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Gay and Lesbian Legal Issues, is the past Chair of the A.A.L.S. Section on Women in Legal Education, and served on an AALS taskforce on the problems of preventing sexual orientation discrimination in religiously-affiliated law schools. From 1984-1987, she was co-chair of the Madison, WI, Taskforce on Alternative family rights which drafted the city's domestic partnership ordinance (one of the first in the nation), and she helped obtain domestic partner health insurance benefits at CWSL. She has authored briefs for national gay rights organizations on family law issues.
Barb has published numerous articles or book chapters on various issues concerning marriages, adoptions, and other legal relationships of same-sex couples and questions of interstate recognition and Full Faith and Credit by state courts, and has spoken on these topics across the country. She edited a book manuscript for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, analyzing choice-of-law issues for all fifty states concerning recognition of marriages by same-sex couples. She was a member of the San Diego steering committee for the No on Knight/Proposition 22 campaign.
Barb has been out as a lesbian since 1976. She and her partner had a private commitment ceremony in April 1992, and have been registered domestic partners in California since 1998. On July 18, 2003, Barb and her spouse were married at the Metropolitan Community Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Their marriage is recognized in California but not in Wisconsin, where they live part of the year.