Section 50
Chapter 49,458

Laws and sexual identities: closing or opening the circle?

Tahmindjis, P.

Journal of Homosexuality 48(3-4): 227-232


ISSN/ISBN: 0091-8369
PMID: 15814506
DOI: 10.1300/j082v48n03_10
Accession: 049457525

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This essay considers, in comparative perspective, the articles in this volume to see what lessons might be learned with respect to the effectiveness of human rights norms in the struggle for GLBT rights and how these lessons might be used for successful activism. It notes that the concept of "GLBT" is itself not uniform, so that "GLBT rights" must also be contextual. It argues that successful change has been wrought when GLBT rights, however perceived, have been built onto the earlier successes of other movements, such as those for racial and gender equality. This in turn requires, and is assisted by, throwing off parochialism which prevents or hampers the building on the successes that may have occurred in other jurisdictions. Activism needs to be fitted to context, so that a "critical mass" is achieved, allowing sufficient acceptance of change. Once this is translated into law, a "halo" effect is produced. However, this is not the end of the problem, but the beginning of a new set of problems.

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