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

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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 or international human rights treaties be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals? Robert Wintemute attempts to answer these questions by examining three of the most commonly used arguments ...
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Overview


"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 or international human rights treaties be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals? Robert Wintemute attempts to answer these questions by examining three of the most commonly used arguments in favor 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 their merits, he looks at the 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 considers the potential impact of the United Nations Human Rights Committee's recent interpretation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Toonen v. Australia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198259725
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/11/1996
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Table of Treaties, Constitutions, Statutes, and Cases
1 Introduction 1
2 The United States Constitution: Fundamental Choice Arguments 20
3 The United States Constitution: Immutable Status and Sex Discrimination Arguments 61
4 The European Convention on Human Rights: Fundamental Choice Arguments 91
5 The European Convention on Human Rights: Immutable Status and Sex Discrimination Arguments 119
6 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Sexual Orientation under Section 15(1) 150
7 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Is Sexual Orientation an Immutable Status or a Fundamental Choice? 174
8 The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Discrimination? 198
9 Comparison and Conclusion 229
Appendix I - Principal Cited Provisions of the United States Constitution, the European Convention, the Canadian Charter, and the International Covenant 261
Appendix II - Constitutions and Legislation Expressly Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination 265
Appendix III - United States: States Without and with Laws Prohibiting Private, Adult, Consensual, Oral or Anal Intercourse 268
Appendix IV - Council of Europe: Member States with Equal and Unequal Ages of Consent to Sexual Activity 270
Bibliography 272
Index 287
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