I suppose to further illustrate the complexity of the issue, the nature of a right must be addressed. A human right is something integral to being a human. People are given these rights by the very nature of them being human. Even if they chose not to honor the right, they still have access to the right and all protection associated. So declaring something a right is a very tricky dealing that carries quite a bit of weight. Were a right to be declared, then laws are to follow protecting and honoring that right.
For instance, we are now discussing the right of attraction. A human being has the right to be attracted to whomever that person finds desirable. At least that is what is being discussed at this present time. Uganda is actually not denying this statement and even states in the article that homosexuals are not persecuted. This statement of right to attraction is similarly mirrored in the Catholic Church’s doctrine and in the former “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Whereby a person might be attracted to another, but the sexual congress and practice is prohibited. So really we are dealing with a human right to have sex with another person.
So now that attraction is not the focus, but the acting on attraction, a clearer picture can be drawn. Human beings have the right to act on their sexual desires with another human being, so long as that person gives consent. Seems rather simple at face value. The devil lies in the details as so many say. If a person has a right to act on their sexual desires with another consenting adult then what happens to the contract of marriage? A person cannot sign a contract taking away a human right, in this case the ability to have sex with someone they are attracted to sexually that consents. So if a husband cheats on his wife, dissolution of that contract based on the exercising of his human right cannot be carried out. There is also the issue of prostitution. A payment of one individual to another grants consent, therefore the human right of sexual practice is being exercised. Many nations are not going to accept prostitution as part of a human right.
Also, the nature of consent can vary wildly. For a long time a marriage contract was considered consent for sex. This of course lead to the concept of marital rape being ignored for a long time in the United States. Other countries do recognize marriage as consent. A woman fleeing an abusive marriage may be found to be violating her husband’s human rights by denying him sexual privileges. Children, being human and thus able to access human rights, could also be seen as able to give consent. Consent is a messy word used in even one country, much less several.
A right and the laws following cannot be worded to be judged on an individual basis for individual situations. That leads to an unfair application and interpretation of the law. Laws are meant to be interpreted and applied uniformly.
A final note, Finn made a statement that I feel requires rebuttal. A country does have expectations, but that expectation has to do with governing and leading its people. The Uganda people have an elected government, these people are put into office by the people of that country. These people enact laws based on popular sentiment because if they do not, they will be voted out of office. Are we are so enlightened, powerful and just that we can tell another nation’s people how to vote? Do we now hand instruction manuals to countries to tell them how best to lead their people, which moral standard to follow and how to conduct their laws? That is a very bold move by anyone’s standard.