Toward a Legal and Social Foundation for Gay Rights:
What is Wrong with the Right to Privacy and What’s Right with Fourteenth Amendment Protections?
Copyright 2012 Kenneth Denson
Thank you for downloading this free ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to Smashwords.com to discover other works by this author.
Anti-gay bias and laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians are largely regarded as going against the liberal democratic tradition in the United States. The notion that in America we respect an individual's right to make choices for themselves is longstanding. Unfortunately, this concept of individualism and the idea that we are all created equal rests uneasily with the obvious condition of American society, that there are some people who are more equal than others.
These two concepts do not fit well together. It would seem that the idea that we are all equal would preclude the possibility that one may be superior to another. The way that society has read these two conflicting positions is that the "we" in "we are equal" refers to those who are in the dominant position in society, and that the hierarchies that keep white men on top are to be preserved at all costs.
What does this mean for homosexuals? How do gay rights issues fit into this historical, sociological, and political structure? How might these two conflicting concepts contribute to the discourse regarding homosexuality? Homosexuals, as a category of person, can logically be connected to Rogers Smith’s thesis1 regarding multiple traditions in America, and viewing homosexuality as an ascriptive status helps explain the modern debate over gay rights.