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“Gay Rights are Human Rights”: the Framing of New Interpretations of International Human Rights Norms

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The Uses and Misuses of Human Rights

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the development of the framing of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons and sexual orientation and gender identity in terms of a human rights paradigm. This decades-long process involved many actors, from within academia, gay and lesbian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), and within mainstream “gatekeeper” human rights NGOs, such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW). News of these developments reached the broader public as news stories and commentary were increasingly reported in the popular media in the early 2010s. The process became more institutionalized as political and judicial bodies in Europe, the United States, and the United Nations began to debate and take action on this emerging conception of human rights. While “Gay rights are human rights” may be succinct as a slogan, it expanded over time to be more inclusive, such as “gay and lesbian rights are human rights” or, more broadly, human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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© 2014 George Andreopoulos and Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat

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Holzhacker, R. (2014). “Gay Rights are Human Rights”: the Framing of New Interpretations of International Human Rights Norms. In: Andreopoulos, G., Arat, Z.F.K. (eds) The Uses and Misuses of Human Rights. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137408341_2

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