From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual
Orientation and Constitutional Law
by Martha C. Nussbaum
Oxford University Press. 217 pages, $21.95
MARTHA NUSSBAUM, a professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, continues her argument that the human capacity for disgust has often been a factor in the making of laws or social norms designed to subordinate certain types of persons in society. (Her previous books on disgust and shame are 2001’s Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions and 2004’s Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law). In From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation & Constitutional Law, she argues that homosexuals in particular have borne the brunt of disgust used as a political weapon. In an interview on BookTV1, Nussbaum called this book her contribution from afar to the fight for same-sex marriage and against California’s Proposition 8 (recently found unconstitutional in district court in the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger).