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From disgust to humanity : sexual orientation and constitutional law

Author: Martha Craven Nussbaum
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
Series: Inalienable rights series.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this book the author aims her intellectual firepower at a key source of opposition to gay equality: the politics of disgust. She argues that disgust has been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for a variety of legal restrictions affecting lesbian and gay citizens. When confronted with the thought of homosexuality, she writes, they experience "a deep aversion akin to that inspired by  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Martha Craven Nussbaum
ISBN: 9780195305319 0195305310
OCLC Number: 426812934
Description: xxiv, 217 pages ; 22 cm.
Contents: From disgust to humanity --
The politics of disgust: practice, theory, history --
The politics of humanity: religion, race, gender, disability --
Sodomy laws: disgust and intrusion --
Discrimination and antidiscrimination: Romer and animus --
A right to marry? --
Protecting intimacy: sex clubs, public sex, risky choices --
After disgust?
Series Title: Inalienable rights series.
Responsibility: Martha C. Nussbaum.

Abstract:

In this book the author aims her intellectual firepower at a key source of opposition to gay equality: the politics of disgust. She argues that disgust has been among the fundamental motivations of those who are fighting for a variety of legal restrictions affecting lesbian and gay citizens. When confronted with the thought of homosexuality, she writes, they experience "a deep aversion akin to that inspired by bodily wastes, slimy insects, and spoiled food, and then cite that very reaction to justify a range of legal restrictions, from sodomy laws to bans on same-sex marriage." Leon Kass, who was head of the President's Council on Bioethics during the Bush administration, even argues that repugnance has an inherent "wisdom," steering us away from destructive choices." The author believes that the politics of disgust must be confronted directly, for it subverts the basic principle of the equality of all citizens under the law. "It says that the mere fact that you happen to make me want to vomit is reason enough for me to treat you as a social pariah, denying you some of your most basic entitlements as a citizen." In its place she observes and supports an emerging "politics of humanity" based not merely on respect, but on something akin to love, an imaginative engagement with others and an active effort to see the world from their perspectives as fellow human beings." "For too long, overtly and covertly, disgust has shaped constitutional thinking regarding the rights of lesbian and gay Americans. Recent landmark decisions suggest that the Court's views are shifting toward a humanity-centered vision, and the author's arguments will attempt to advance that cause.

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"A meticulous consideration of the legal issues surrounding same-sex relations grounded in a far-reaching investigation of how the notion of disgust has determined both civil legislation and public Read more...

 
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