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Evaluating the Sex-Discrimination Argument for Lesbian and Gay Rights

48 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2000  

Edward Stein

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2000

Abstract

This essay offers a detailed analysis and critique of the argument that discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals is a form of sex discrimination. This argument has been advanced by feminists, legal theorists, advocates for gay rights, and, in a few instances, by courts (most notably, Hawaii's Supreme Court). The essay articulates the strongest version of the sex-discrimination argument and then critically examines it. The essay shows that socially, morally, and theoretically, the sex-discrimination argument mischaracterizes the wrong of discrimination against lesbians and gay men. Further, the essay enumerates some practical problems facing this argument. The essay concludes that, as the sex-discrimination argument has flaws, it should be made only with caution and only when coupled with alternative arguments for lesbian and gay rights.

Suggested Citation

Stein, Edward, Evaluating the Sex-Discrimination Argument for Lesbian and Gay Rights (September 2000). Cardozo Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 22. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=243166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.243166

Edward Stein (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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