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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 50 / 161

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diverse (Sears, 2002). In addition, NCATE requires institutions

to recruit, admit, and retain a student and faculty body that is

culturally diverse. Sexual orientation is mentioned in

accrediting standards as meeting the “cultural diversity” and

“multicultural perspectives” requirements (Sears, 2002).

Theoretical Perspectives

Discrimination and inequality of gays and lesbians in the United States is profuse; and the social movement to end such discriminatory practices has been recognized by many modern theorists researching queer theory (Kirsch, 2000). Queer theory is a new branch of theoretical speculation; it has only been named as a social science area of study since about 1991 (Klages, 1997). Queer theory has a feminist foundation and rejects the notion that sexuality is an essentialist category, something determined by biology or judged by eternal standards of morality and truth (Klages, 1997). The importance of queer theory to this study is its emphasis on social justice and equality principles through the elimination of societal stigma on those individuals who are homosexual (Klages, 1997).

For the theoretical section of this study, the author concentrates on two social justice theories by two social justice theorists: John Rawls’ (1971) A Theory of Justice and Martha Nussbaum’s (2000) Theory of Human Rights. While these theories pertain largely to government function and the role of governments in meeting the needs and demands of its populace,

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