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REGISTERED NURSES’ ATTITUDES TOWARD THE PROTECTION OF GAYS AND - page 54 / 161

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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, would not 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 asserts that the likely outcome of this process is the creation of a set of principles incorporating justice as fairness (Anderson, 2002).

Many authors and researchers have correlated John Rawls’ theories of social justice and distributive justice theory to the modern gay civil rights movement (Schauer & Sinnott- Armstrong, 2003). Perhaps Rawls’ most important contribution to the field of social justice theory is his text A Theory of Justice (1971). In this publication, Rawls gives what he believes are the foundational characteristics of the social justice principles of fairness and equality. While Rawls never gives a formal definition of the two terms, he does write about the societal implications of justice and fairness and also discusses the obligation of society to ensure everyone possesses both of these principles (Rawls, 1971). Rawls (1971) also mentions governmental responsibility (referred to as institutions of practices) to ensure the meeting of these social justice principles. He asserts that the principles of fairness has two parts, the first states that the institutions of

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