Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation Essay

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Discrimination based on sexual orientation has been denounced morally based on the argument that those who fall outside of the “normal” heterosexual orientation were “born that way”. The rationale behind this judgement is that those who did not choose something should not be discriminated against because of it. There already exists a societal consensus that it is unfair (and even immoral) to discriminate against someone based on their race, hair colour, disability etc., and many believe that those within the sexual minority status should be included in that list. William S. Wilkerson, however, argues that there is some aspect of sexual orientation that is constructed through conscious choice—by means of how an individual interprets their feelings and desires. His theory rests on the assumption that no human experience is self-evident (including sexual desire) and thus they are all open to interpretation, and involving some level of choice. Wilkerson contends that since the sexual desires individuals experience can be interpreted, then so can the meanings behind the desires—which make up ones understanding of their sexual orientation. Wilkerson uses two arguments to make his point—a direct and an indirect one—both of which argue that sexual desires are indeterminate until the individual interprets them to mean what they choose it to mean. The focus of this paper will be to challenge Wilkerson’s indirect argument against the notion of the given, which, he believes, is

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