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Are Homosexual Civil Rights Being Denied?

There continues to be much debate regarding the issue of civil rights for homosexual couples. Some say that homosexuals are being denied civil rights, while others claim they are not. Without a good understanding of rights it can be difficult to reconcile such opposing views. What follows is the required knowledge from a respected intellectual, Dr. Mark Lowery, Professor of Social Ethics:

A simple definition of justice is ‘giving the other his due,’ that which is just or right. The right, then, is what the virtue of justice is ordered toward, i.e. the object of justice, and the act of justice is the giving of the right.

Behind the whole concept of the right lie several anthropological presuppositions. First, the personalist principle: the right presupposes a person of inalienable worth. A being without such worth does not have any rights strictly speaking. For instance, say I am in the habit of giving my dog a bone each day. My dog does not have a right to that BONE! If I don't give the dog a bone, I have not violated its rights.

Man's nature is that of a person, not an object; an end, not a means.

And so, the only reason a person can claim any rights is because that person is a being of a particular sort, of a particular nature. As a result of this, one can never claim any particular right that is not in accord with nature, with the natural law. Rights can never conflict with the natural law. If a person claims a right that is out of accord with the natural law, that person makes a false claim. Rights only exist in the compass of nature. That is why the notions of ‘homosexual rights’ or ‘animal rights’ are all false and illusory claims. No one has a right to do what is wrong. Rights must always harmonize with nature. Rights cannot be torn outside the context of nature.1

From this definition it is clear that as homosexuals, as persons can not claim the right to marry, nor the right to adopt children without being in conflict with nature. However, all persons acting in harmony with nature can claim rights, such as homosexuals' right to life and liberty or heterosexuals' right to marry and adopt.

In conclusion, the claim that civil rights of homosexuals are being violated is obviously false. Additionally, granting the false right of adoption to homosexuals denies children their right to the natural father-child and mother-child relationships.

1Dr. Mark Lowery, Class Notes, Social Ethics, University of Dallas, 2000
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