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Fellmeth publishes paper on sexual freedom

March 12, 2009

Professor Aaron Fellmeth, of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, has had a paper, "State Regulation of Sexuality in International Human Rights Law and Theory," published in the William and Mary Law Review.

The article presents the first published, worldwide survey of international practice in interpreting and applying various international human-rights norms to the issue of sexual freedom, with a special emphasis on the rights to privacy, family life, and freedom from arbitrary discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The second part of the article analyzes the rationales adopted by state elites for accepting or denying equal rights to sexual minorities and discerns a trend toward a complex approach of sometimes applying libertarian theories of human-rights law, sometimes applying increasingly nuanced nondiscrimination norms, and sometimes using both approaches at once.

The article also discusses the limits of the role that international human-rights law has played in the evolution of state practice on this subject and explains how international human-rights law is balanced unstably between the incomplete application of human rights to sexual minorities and the disadvantages of logical and theoretical inconsistency in human rights doctrine.

To read the entire article, click here.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law