Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Gay Rights

  • Gordon A. Babst
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_685

Gay rights refers to the application of human rights as ordinarily understood to gay persons, generally referring to persons who are not heterosexual. There is nothing special about these rights as regards their substance or application to a minority group; rather, the insistence that gay persons too have these rights and that they as bearers of rights are owed respect the same as everyone else is the novelty. The notion of gay rights, then, has an audacious quality, given that many people in many societies in the Western tradition historically have held a deep antipathy to gay persons, an antipathy that is less prominent in some non-Western societies such as among some native peoples, and more impactful elsewhere, such as in many traditional religious societies. Unfortunately, because homosexuality, a modern term the French philosopher Michel Foucault found to have been invented in the nineteenth century to ascribe an essence to a person who commits same-sex behavior, has been widely...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon A. Babst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWilkinson College, Chapman UniversityOrangeUSA