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Looking Back And Looking Forward

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Chapter Summary

From the wealth of international covenants to national constitutions and bills of rights, the notions of "equality" and "dignity" run through various visions of human rights for the pursuit of "freedom, justice and peace". While a liberal/conservative dichotomy may represent an oversimplified view of things, it more or less captures the essence of the dispute: liberalize or stay put. In rights jurisprudence, "equality" and "dignity" have long been associated with gay rights advocacy from ending discrimination to legal recognition of same-sex unions. Looking back, the protection extended from race to sex plus many other grounds is a sign of societies moving towards openness and diversity. The idea of deliberative democracy is not new. It remains an unfinished business so far as moral disagreement is part of democratic politics.

Keywords: conservative; deliberative democracy; equality; human rights; looking back; same-sex marriage

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