Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Koppelman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451008

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451039.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 September 2018

The Right to Privacy?

The Right to Privacy?

Chapter:
(p.35) Chapter Two The Right to Privacy?
Source:
The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226451039.003.0003

The privacy question has tended to dominate gay rights discussions because the criminalization of homosexual activity has been the most important legal disadvantage that gays have faced and the keystone of a pattern of other disadvantages. The sodomy statutes brand all gays as criminals and so legitimize discrimination against them. These statutes' centrality has been reinforced by the Hardwick decision, which focused solely on the privacy issue and which has been most students' introduction to issues of gay rights in the law. Privacy, however, is a weak basis for gay rights claims. It has no textual basis. It cannot be deduced from earlier privacy decisions. It inappropriately requires judges to decide what is important in life. It excessively disables the state from legislating on the basis of morality. Moreover, privacy is a poor characterization of what is at stake in the gay rights debate, which turns primarily on public status rather than private conduct.

Keywords:   right to privacy, gay rights, criminalization, homosexual activity, discrimination, morality

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.