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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 115 / 161

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that society must collectively negotiate a basis using a fair, rational method based on freedom and equality rather than deriving one from religious or moral postulates (Anderson, 2002). A focal segment of Rawls’ theory of social justice concerns the original position and the veil of ignorance. The original position is a state of mind an individual places him or herself in through use of the veil of ignorance.

The veil of ignorance is applied when an individual removes all the societal labels he or she has received along with any personal traits that he or she may have which can lead to a societal label. “This supposes that each participant represents,

not himself or herself, but some unknown segment of society” (Anderson, 2002, p.2). Under the veil of ignorance, individuals are not permitted to know their social positions or “particular

comprehensive doctrines (Anderson, 2002, p. 2).

of the persons they represent” The veil implies an individual’s

ignorance to their race and ethnic group, gender, sexual orientation, social class, intelligence, disability, and traits (Anderson, 2002).

other

Under the veil of ignorance, individuals would want all rights to be distributed fairly as they would not know what societal labels they would receive once the veil is removed and therefore, wouldn’t want to not be given social rights based on those labels (Anderson, 2002). Thus, if the veil of ignorance was removed and an individual was labeled as gay or lesbian, he or she would wish to have the same rights as those individuals who were not branded with such labels (Anderson, 2002). Rawls

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