Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: The United States Constitution, the European Convention, and…

Paperback | February 1, 1997

byRobert Wintemute

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"Lesbian and gay rights are human rights!" Is this just a political slogan to be chanted outside legislatures? Or are there legal arguments to support the claim that the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination is a human right? In particular, can national constitutions orinternational human rights treaties be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against same-sex activity, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, and same-sex couples? Robert Wintemute attempts to answer these questions by examining three of the most commonly used arguments in favour of such aninterpretation: sexual orientation is an "immutable status", sexual orientation is a "fundamental choice" (or part of "privacy"), and sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination. To assess their merits, he looks at their relative success and failure in cases argued under three of theworld's most influential human rights instruments: the United States Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He also considers the potential impact of the United Nations Human Rights Committee's recent interpretation of theInternational Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Toonen v. Australia.

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From Our Editors

'Lesbian and gay rights are human rights!' Is this just a political slogan to be chanted outside legislatures? Or are there legal arguments to support the claim that the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination is a human right? In particular, can national constitutions and international human rights treaties be interpre...

From the Publisher

"Lesbian and gay rights are human rights!" Is this just a political slogan to be chanted outside legislatures? Or are there legal arguments to support the claim that the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination is a human right? In particular, can national constitutions orinternational human rights treaties be interprete...

From the Jacket

'Lesbian and gay rights are human rights!' Is this just a political slogan to be chanted outside legislatures? Or are there legal arguments to support the claim that the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination is a human right? In particular, can national constitutions and international human rights treaties be interpre...

Robert Wintemute is at King's College, London.

other books by Robert Wintemute

Format:PaperbackDimensions:334 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:February 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198264887

ISBN - 13:9780198264880

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition1. Introduction2. The United States Constitution: Fundamental Choice Approach3. The United States Constitution: Immutable Status and Sex Discrimination Approaches and Assessment of Protection4. The European Convention on Human Rights: Fundamental Choice Approach5. The European Convention on Human Rights: Immutable Status and Sex Discrimination Approaches and Assessment of Protection6. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Immutable Status and Fundamental Choice Approaches7. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Is Sexual Orientation an Immutable or a Fundamental Choice?8. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Discrimination?9. Comparison and ConclusionAppendix of Canadian Charter ProvisionsTable of Constitutions, Statutes and CasesBibliography

From Our Editors

'Lesbian and gay rights are human rights!' Is this just a political slogan to be chanted outside legislatures? Or are there legal arguments to support the claim that the right to be free from sexual orientation discrimination is a human right? In particular, can national constitutions and international human rights treaties be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against same-sex activity, gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, and same-sex couples? Robert Wintemute attempts to answer these questions by examining three of the most commonly used arguments in favour of such an interpretation: sexual orientation is an 'immutable status', sexual orientation is a 'fundamental choice' or part of 'privacy', and sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination. To assess the merits of these arguments, he looks at their relative success and failure in cases argued under three of the world's most influential human rights instruments: the United States Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He also

Editorial Reviews

"... his work brings to its subject a rare combination of legal learning and moral insight which, quite apart from living up to its amibition of making a powerful case for legal measures against discrimination on grounds of sexuality, does much, and certainly more than it advertises itself asdoing, to illuminate the structure, scope, and significance of anti-discrimination law as a whole."