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Identity or Behavior: A Moral and Medical Basis for LGBTQ Rights.

  • Academic Journal
  • The Hastings Center report [Hastings Cent Rep] 2014 Sep; Vol. 44 Suppl 4, pp. S4-5.
  • English
  • The progress of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer rights entails the erosion of prejudice, and erosion is a slow process. Much press accrues to the dramatic advancement of gay marriage, but that progress reflects decades of committed activism that antedate the sea change. Social science, physical science, politics, philosophy, religion, and innumerable other fields have bearing on the emergence of healthy LGBTQ identities. The field of bioethics is implicated both in revolutionizing attitudes and in determining how best to utilize such ameliorated positions. For decades, the debate around homosexuality has centered on whether it is a choice or an inherent quality. A growing segment of the population believes that gay people are "made that way" and therefore do not deserve to be treated with the prejudice they might warrant if they had simply elected what others resisted. In effect, they are like disabled people, who can't help the challenges they face, and unlike murderers, who could choose not to kill. Anti-gay arguments tend to hinge on a view of gayness as a behavior; the liberatory ones, on gayness as an identity. A behavior can be avoided; an identity is integral and therefore warrants acceptance-or even celebration. People have a right to their identities, even if they have the capacity to act out other, different identities. Bioethics is the field in which this distinction between gay acts and a gay self may be argued most directly.
    (© 2014 by The Hastings Center.)
Additional Information
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Country of Publication: United States NLM ID: 0410447 Publication Model: Print Cited Medium: Print ISSN: 0093-0334 (Print) Linking ISSN: 00930334 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Hastings Cent Rep Subsets: MEDLINE
Publication: 2012- : Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell
Original Publication: Hastings-on-Hudson, N. Y., Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences.
Date Created: 20140919 Date Completed: 20180925 Latest Revision: 20180925

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