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Human Rights and Common GoodCollected Essays Volume III$
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John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580071

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580071.001.0001

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Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’

Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’

(p.334) 21 Law, Morality, and ‘Sexual Orientation’
Human Rights and Common Good

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

This chapter is the last and shortest version of a paper that emerged out of testimony and counter-testimony in a court in Colorado in 1995. It omits parts that in the earlier published versions surveyed the false claims made by a learned witness. The chapter begins with a statement of the legal position — standard in 1995/7 throughout Europe — about homosexual conduct (decriminalized but legally discouraged), a position subsequently swept away. It then argues that that position had profound support in the philosophical judgments of Plato, Aristotle, and Musonius Rufus, judgments fully justifiable in view of the basic human good of marriage and the character of the sex act (marital act) that enables spouses to actualize, express, and experience their marriage. Counter-arguments by Koppelman, Macedo, and others are critiqued.

Keywords:   homosexual conduct, marriage, marital acts, Koppelman, Macedo, Plato, Aristotle, Musonius Rufus

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