Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The development and status of sexual orientation discrimination under international human rights law

McGoldrick, Dominic


Professor of International Human Rights Law


This article assesses the development, status and recognition of a prohibition on sexual orientation discrimination as a matter of international human rights law. The State practice examined appears to reveal fundamental divisions on this issue. The article considers whether there are any treaty-based obligations that support the prohibition on sexual orientation as an existing right. Having examined the national, regional and international human rights jurisprudence on sexual orientation discrimination, the article considers the possible ways forward in policy terms, given the continued opposition from a significant body of States. More specifically, it discusses the most appropriate legal and strategic responses at national, regional and international levels to manage or bridge the divisions between States on the issue.


McGoldrick, D. (2016). The development and status of sexual orientation discrimination under international human rights law. Human Rights Law Review, 16(4), 613-668.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 9, 2016
Online Publication Date Dec 15, 2016
Publication Date Dec 1, 2016
Deposit Date Jul 1, 2016
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2018
Journal Human Rights Law Review
Print ISSN 1461-7781
Electronic ISSN 1744-1021
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 4
Pages 613-668
Keywords sexual orientation, equality, non-discrimination, right to privacy, right to family life, human rights obligations, interpretation of human rights treaties
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in [insert journal title] following peer review. The version of record Dominic McGoldrick The Development and Status of Sexual Orientation Discrimination under International Human Rights Law
Human Rights Law Review 2016 16: 613-668 is available online at:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations