"Rights" are all well and good, but I expect that the natural and positive law could be expressed without ever using the term, and we might well be better off avoiding the term as much as possible. At the very least I expect that whenever we use the term "right" to express something true about the moral order or desirable about the legal order, that that expression supervenes on saying the same thing in terms of obligations. A "right" as far as I can tell is just a rule whereby we discriminate between one set of claims and another, and decide what moral (or legal) obligations obtain to the parties involved.
I'll set aside what that imples about the term "equal rights", which on its face would seem to be a self-contradictory requirement to discriminate without discriminating. Suffice to say that although it isn't necessary for the use of the term to result in the banishment of substantive meaning from our politics, in practice it most often does have the effect of banishing meaning from our politics. If everyone always has to be treated equally then distinctions have to be made not to matter: meaning must be banished. Yet the assertion of any "right" is an assertion that some distinction matters: that one claim or set of claims must trump a conflicting claim or set of claims: that the meaning of the specific conflict must be resolved.
But apropos to my observation below that private acts are closeted acts if in fact private, we have to ask if a "right" of privacy makes any sense at all, even if we don't worry about the right obtaining equally to axe murderers and poetry writers. Surely there are very many affairs in which the government has no business meddling. Surely also there are circumstances where a person in fact does something illegal, but it would be unwise and possibly even unjust to grant the government power to go about ruthlessly digging into it with no proportionate limit. Some violations ought not rise to a level greater than a traffic ticket, and some tickets ought not be issued at all unless the driver is caught in some more serious act. This seems especially true for things like sodomy and personal drug use to the extent - and only to the extent - that such acts tend to be self-punishing and are minimzed in terms of public consequences, which includes their perpetrators having the residual sense to keep them in the closet.
But does the fact that it would be unjust for the government to hunt down and imprison a man who deserves a parking ticket mean that there is a "right" to double-park? The problem isn't that we can't talk about these things rationally, it is just that it makes more sense to talk about them in terms of obligations. Government officials have an obligation not to go overboard in enforcing public standards and the moral law; citizens have an obligation not create a situation where their personal vices become a public nuisance.
The bottom line is that while rights-talk can - if we work hard at it - supervene over some areas where government power ought to be limited and where one man's claim should be found superior to another's, it is in practice a very poor tool for the job.