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3. Human Dignity And Same-Sex Marriage

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Chapter Summary

The term "human dignity" first appeared in international law through the "Philadelphia Declaration" of the International Labour Organization made in 1944. From a descriptive point of view, dignity and the superiority of human beings over other living species derive from their shared uniquely human features and capacities. According to Gewirth, one can start by identifying the two concepts of rights as there are two concepts of dignity. The Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged the centrality of dignity in upholding constitutional rights before the line of same-sex marriage decisions beginning 2002. The courts in the above same-sex marriage decisions did not elaborate on dignity albeit placing it at the center of their equality judgments. The Goodridge majority believed that there is dignity in the institution of marriage which same-sex marriage will not destroy.

Keywords: Canada; human dignity; international law; same-sex marriage; Supreme Court



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