1st Edition

Gay Ethics Controversies in Outing, Civil Rights, and Sexual Science

By Timothy F Murphy Copyright 1994
    380 Pages
    by Routledge

    365 Pages
    by Routledge

    Gay Ethics is an anthology that addresses ethical questions involving key moral issues of today--sexual morality, outing, gay and lesbian marriages, military service, anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action policies, the moral significance of sexual orientation research, and the legacy of homophobia in health care. It focuses on these issues within the social context of the lives of gay men and lesbians and makes evident the ways in which ethics can and should be reclaimed to pursue the moral good for gay men and lesbians.

    Gay Ethics is a timely book that illustrates the inadequacies of various moral arguments used in regard to homosexuality. This book reaches a new awareness for the standing and treatment of gay men and lesbians in society by moving beyond conventional philosophical analyses that focus exclusively on the morality of specific kinds of sexual acts, the nature of perversion, or the cogency of scientific accounts of the origins of homoeroticism. It raises pertinent questions about the meaning of sexuality for private and public life, civics, and science. Some of the issues covered:

    • Sexual Morality
    • Outing
    • Same-Sex Marriage
    • Military Service
    • Anti-Discrimination Laws
    • Affirmative Action Policy
    • The Scientific Study of Sexual Orientation
    • Bias in Psychoanalysis
    • Homophobia in Health Care

      Gay Ethics presents a wide range of perspectives but remains united in the common purpose of illuminating moral arguments and social policies as they involve homosexuality. The chapters challenge social oppression in the military, civil rights, and the social conventions observed among gay men and lesbians themselves. This book is applicable to a broad range of academics working in gay and lesbian studies and because of its current content, is of interest to an educated lay public. It will be a standard reference point for future discussion of the matters it addresses.

    Contents Part I: Starting Points
    • Introduction
    • Homosex/Ethics
    • Part II: Outing and the Closet
    • The Closet and the Ethics of Outing
    • Privacy and the Ethics of Outing
    • Outing, Truth-Telling, and the Shame of the Closet
    • Coming Out, Being Out, and Acts of Virtue
    • Part III: Civil Rights and Social Justice
    • Gay Marriage: A Civil Right
    • The Military Ban and the ROTC: A Case Study in Closeting
    •  A Moral Justification for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights Legislation
    • Gay Rights and Affirmative Action
    • Part IV: The Moral Meanings of Science
    • Explaining Homosexuality: Philosophical Issues, and Who Cares Anyhow?
    • The Relevance of Scientific Research About Sexual Orientation to Lesbian and Gay Rights
    • Fixation and Regression in the Psychoanalytic Theory of Homosexuality: A Critical Evaluation
    • Homophobia and the Moral Authority of Medicine
    • Index
    • Reference Notes Included


    Timothy F. Murphy holds a doctorate in philosophy from Boston College and is Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the Biomedical Sciences. He teaches in the Medical Humanities Program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He is the co-editor of both Writing AIDS: Gay Literature, Language, and Analysis (Columbia University Press, 1993) and Justice and the Human Genome Project (University of California Press, 1994). He is also the author of Ethics in an Epidemic: AIDS, Morality, and Culture (forthcoming from the University of California Press) and is writing a book on the ethics of sexual reorientation therapy.