Charting a course toward legal recognition of gay rights as an intrinsic subset of human rights, Richards (law, New York U.) explores Civil Rights, feminism, and religious toleration as potential analogies for the gay rights movement. While discrimination against gays is analogous to race and gender prejudice since all hinder attempts to develop individual identity, Richards argues that the struggle for religious freedom offers the most compelling analogy for a gay rights movement because gay identity involves an ethical decision of conscience. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
As a legal scholar, Richards (law, New York Univ.) demands that the public understand gay rights as a key element of basic human rights. He further asserts that discrimination based on gender, religion, or race is similar to discrimination based on sexual orientation. Richards examines the link between gay rights and the movements for blacks' civil rights, feminism, and religious freedom. Ultimately, the author believes, the best criterion for legal acceptance of gay rights will be based upon those principles issued in the argument for religious toleration under the parameters of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. A thought-provoking study of the relationship of gay rights to the Constitution and human-rights endeavors. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs., South Bend, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.