Abstract and Keywords
The real-world politics of rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, and queer people is deeply contested. While now recognized by the UN and leading democratic states (if still incompletely and often haphazardly), LGBTQ rights are denied in many other quarters. Empirical research demonstrates the value of human rights in securing protections for LGBTQ people while also highlighting the ambiguities of a rights-based politics. This chapter discusses discuss how the use of LGBTQ rights claims highlight the need for critical theoretical approaches to human rights. It considers the politicized and sometimes antithetical use to which the newly accepted discourses of LGBTQ rights are put in the foreign policies of states and the behaviour of other international actors. It examines how the practice of gay rights by states and other agents can be caught up in a politics which undermines their emancipatory impetus.
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