New Publication: 'Sexual Orientation and Rights' by Nicholas Bamforth (ed)

admin - 27th July 2015

Debate about the rights of sexual minorities, whether individuals or members of same-sex couples, has become an important issue for legislatures and courts in many constitutional democracies. This volume ‘Sexual Orientation and Rights’ by Nicholas Bamforth (ed) (Ashgate, 2015) collects together some of the more significant writings in the debate, and reflects a variety of perspectives: liberal, conservative, and radical. The topics covered include the meaning and importance of sexual freedom, gender roles, marriage and other significant partnerships, child care and adoption, the criminal law, employment, and expression and pornography. The volume also seeks to relate arguments about sexual orientation and rights to broader debates within feminist theory.


Part I Organizing the Arguments:

  • Sexual orientation and the politics of biology: a critique of the argument from immutability, Janet E. Halley.

Part II Substantive Progressive Arguments:

  • Sexual autonomy and the constitutional right to privacy: a case study in human rights and the unwritten constitution, David A.J. Richards;
  • Liberal community, Ronald Dworkin;
  • Sexual orientation and the constitution: a test case for human rights, Edwin Cameron;
  • Hardwick and historiography, William N. Eskridge, Jr;
  • Editorial note: The constitutional status of sexual orientation: homosexuality as a suspect classification, Harvard Law Review;
  • Recognising new kinds of direct sex discrimination: transsexualism, sexual orientation and dress codes, Robert Wintemute;
  • Pornographies, Leslie Green;
  • Pornography/death: the problem of gay pornography in a straight supremacist system, Shannon Gilreath.

Part III Conservative Arguments and Responses to Them:

  • Law, morality and ‘sexual orientation’, John M. Finnis;
  • Is marriage inherently heterosexual?, Andrew Koppelman.

Part IV Radical Arguments:

  • Developing lesbian legal theory/Sexual privacy/Discourses of discrimination, Ruthann Robson;
  • Essential rights and contested identities: sexual orientation and equality rights jurisprudence in Canada, Carl F. Stychin;
  • On being beside oneself: on the limits of sexual automony, Judith Butler.

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