Identity and the Case for Gay Rights: Race, Gender, Religion as Analogies

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9780226712093: Identity and the Case for Gay Rights: Race, Gender, Religion as Analogies

How should we chart a course toward legal recognition of gay rights as basic human rights? In this enlightening study, legal scholar David Richards explores the connections between gay rights and three successful civil rights movements—black civil rights, feminism, and religious toleration—to determine how these might serve as analogies for the gay rights movement.

Richards argues that racial and gender struggles are informative but partial models. As in these movements, achieving gay rights requires eliminating unjust stereotypes and allowing one's identity to develop free from intolerant views. Richards stresses, however, that gay identity is an ethical choice based on gender equality. Thus the right to religious freedom offers the most compelling analogy for a gay rights movement because gay identity should be protected legally as an ethical decision of conscience.

A thoughtful and highly original voice in the struggle for gay rights, David Richards is the first to argue that discrimination is like religious intolerance-denial of full humanity to individuals because of their identity and moral commitments to gender equality.

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Review:

Central to David Richards's elegant and provocative Identity and the Case for Gay Rights is the injustice of what he calls "moral slavery." This concept describes the cultural construction of stereotypes that dehumanize the affected group and are rationalized in the context of historical structural injustices. The burdens moral slavery places on individual's identity formation are similar to those associated with discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and religion, and are similarly unconstitutional and inhumane. Richards finds the analogy to religious toleration most apt and useful as a model for those struggling for recognition of gay rights. One of the strongest points here is that such an approach neatly sidesteps the biological reductionism that shadows women's rights and race-based rights, and that could attach to gay rights if the "gay gene" theory becomes the dominant theme in mobilization around the issue. By aligning gay rights most closely with religious liberty and other First Amendment values such as free speech and association, Richards is able to preserve both the ideas of identity and choice: like spirituality, sexual orientation is part of who you are and a matter of individual conscience.

This is a beautifully written and powerfully argued piece of scholarship from a highly regarded and prolific constitutional philosopher. Though a slim volume, the book contains historical analysis of case studies that is sophisticated and challenging, as well as a prescription for a model that finds "homosexual" to be a suspect classification. It's intelligent reading not only for those interested in gay rights but also those who follow the civil rights fortunes of African Americans, women, and religious minorities. --Julia Riches

From Library Journal:

As a legal scholar, Richards (law, New York Univ.) demands that the public understand gay rights as a key element of basic human rights. He further asserts that discrimination based on gender, religion, or race is similar to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Richards examines the link between gay rights and the movements for blacks' civil rights, feminism, and religious freedom. Ultimately, the author believes, the best criterion for legal acceptance of gay rights will be based upon those principles issued in the argument for religious toleration under the parameters of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A thought-provoking study of the relationship of gay rights to the Constitution and human-rights endeavors. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
-Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs., South Bend, IN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Richards, David A. J.
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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. How should one chart a course toward legal recognition of gay rights as basic human rights? In this study, legal scholar David Richards explores the connections between gay rights and three successful civil rights movements - black civil rights, feminism and religious toleration - to determine how these might serve as analogies for the gay rights movement. Richards argues that racial and gender struggles are informative but partial models. As in these movements, achieving gay rights requires eliminating unjust stereotypes and allowing one s identity to develop free from intolerant views. Richards stresses, however, that gay identity is an ethical choice based on gender equality. Thus the right to religious freedom offers the most compelling analogy for a gay rights movement because gay identity should be protected legally as an ethical decision of conscience. David Richards argues that discrimination is like religious intolerance - denial of full humanity to individuals because of their identity and moral commitments to gender equality. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226712093

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. How should one chart a course toward legal recognition of gay rights as basic human rights? In this study, legal scholar David Richards explores the connections between gay rights and three successful civil rights movements - black civil rights, feminism and religious toleration - to determine how these might serve as analogies for the gay rights movement. Richards argues that racial and gender struggles are informative but partial models. As in these movements, achieving gay rights requires eliminating unjust stereotypes and allowing one s identity to develop free from intolerant views. Richards stresses, however, that gay identity is an ethical choice based on gender equality. Thus the right to religious freedom offers the most compelling analogy for a gay rights movement because gay identity should be protected legally as an ethical decision of conscience. David Richards argues that discrimination is like religious intolerance - denial of full humanity to individuals because of their identity and moral commitments to gender equality. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780226712093

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Descripción The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 2nd ed.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. How should one chart a course toward legal recognition of gay rights as basic human rights? In this study, legal scholar David Richards explores the connections between gay rights and three successful civil rights movements - black civil rights, feminism and religious toleration - to determine how these might serve as analogies for the gay rights movement. Richards argues that racial and gender struggles are informative but partial models. As in these movements, achieving gay rights requires eliminating unjust stereotypes and allowing one s identity to develop free from intolerant views. Richards stresses, however, that gay identity is an ethical choice based on gender equality. Thus the right to religious freedom offers the most compelling analogy for a gay rights movement because gay identity should be protected legally as an ethical decision of conscience. David Richards argues that discrimination is like religious intolerance - denial of full humanity to individuals because of their identity and moral commitments to gender equality. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780226712093

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