Catholic teaching proposes a definition of sexual human dignity that finds truth and love in the meaning of sexual acts between spouses in heterosexual marriage. For those acts to be moral between fertile couples, they must be potentially-reproductive acts, but that requirement does not hold for infertile couples. The Church proposes sexual norms and legislation based on that definition. We propose a definition of human sexuality that finds love and truth in all just and loving heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual potentially-reproductive and non-reproductive acts, and we propose norms and legislation based on that definition. Underlying these different proposals are different sexual anthropologies and definitions of human dignity. In this paper we first briefly explain and then critique Catholic teaching on homosexual orientation, moral norms governing homosexual relationships, and legislative norms derived from these teachings and defended by the Church.
Two generations after the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is a need to evaluate what has been achieved when it comes to discussions on human dignity and human rights in terms of their foundations and applications. This issue of the Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society addresses this task from the point of view of theological ethics and religious studies. Part One of this collection provides a solid foundation for defining human dignity and promoting human rights. Part Two demonstrates how this foundation can be applied to current and pressing ethical, legal, and theological issues confronting humanity, by addressing four exemplary issues (homosexuality, gender, migrants, and climate change). Combined, these essays point a way forward for the ongoing development of a comprehensive, comprehensible, consistent, and credible definition of human dignity and human rights and their role in addressing ongoing ethical, legal, and theological issues.