49 McGill L.J. 951 (2003-2004)
Same-Sex Sexualities and the Globalization of Human Rights Discourse

handle is hein.journals/mcgil49 and id is 965 raw text is: Same-Sex Sexualities and the Globalization
of Human Rights Discourse
Carl F. Stychin*

In the past decade, a double movement of
globalization has taken place in the realm of gay rights.
On the one hand, a globalization of human rights has
occurred, whereby human rights have become a key
criterion by which the progress of nations is evaluated.
On the other hand, there has been a globalization of same-
sex sexualities as identities. These movements have the
potential to conflict with, rather than complement, each
other in terms of progressing toward a greater recognition
of gay rights worldwide: resistance to costuopolilan claims
to gay rights is often grounded in onmmuntarian claims
based in the language of the right of self-determination of a
people. The article argues, however-largely through the
use of case studies (Tasmania, Zimbabwe, and Romania)-
that the discourse of universal human rights can and has
been used successfully by local gay rights activists. This
has taken place through the use of several strategies: the
recognition of multiple and intersecting identities; the
development of a discourse by which international legal
standards become part of the essence of a people; and by
the reclaiming of an authentic gay past within a national
community context. In this way, gay rights activists have
become able to move sesanlessly between discourses of the
local and the global. Ultimately, the article concludes, gay
rights struggles will be most successful when they not only
engage in the protection of human rights for individuals
based on international hunan rights standards but also fight
for inclusion at the level of comrmunitarian political debate
within the larger society.

Depuis  dix  ans, un   double  mouvement de
mondialisation a eu curs dat la sphare des droits des gais
et lesbiennes, D'une part, une mondialisation des droits de
la personne, par laquelle ceux-ci sont devenus une mesore
primordiale do  progrts des nations, D'autre par, un
mondialisation des sexualitls de m@rme sexe comme
identit6s. Ces mouvements ont le potentiel de s'opposer
mutuellement plut6t que de se completer et ainsi permettre
one reconnaissance plus grande des droits des gais et
lesbiennes dans le monde. Au cosmopolitisme animant la
reconnaissance de ces droits s'opposent des revendications
communautariennes   fondSes    sur   un    discours
d'autoddtermination des peuples. Principalement sur la
base d'tudes de cas (Tasmanie, Zimbabwe, Roumaie),
cet article soutient toutefois que le discours universel des
droits de Ia personne pout 8tre (et a &th) utilis localement,
avec succ s, par des activistes des drois des gas et
lesbiennes. Plusieurs strategies on &6 employes; la
reconnaissance d'identitds multiples et entrecroisfes; le
d6ploiement d'un discours par lequel les standards
juridiques intemationaux forment one part de  'essence
d'un  peuple>; etla revendication  dun  pass§  gai
authentique A l'int6rieur d'un coniexte commnunautaire
national. De cette manire, des activistes ont tt capables
d'utiliser k Ia fois on discours global et un discours local.
L'arlicle conclut qu'en derire analyse, les utes pour les
droits des gals et lesbiennes connaitront davantage de
succbs si elles s'emploient non seulement A. prot6ger les
droits des individus sur la base de standards intemationaux
de droits de la personne, mais visent aussi I inclusion au
niveau do dbat politique communaulaire ayant coars dans
]a socit6 civile.

. Professor of Law and Social Theory and Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences,
The University of Reading, United Kingdom. An earlier version of this article formed the basis of a
plenary invited lecture delivered at the Activating Human Rights and Diversity Conference,
Southern Cross University, Australia, July 2003. A revised version was delivered as an invited lecture
to a conference entitled 'Thirty Years On: Sexuality, Law and Policy on the Island of Ireland,
University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, November 2003. The author thanks the participants at those
conferences for their insightful comments. Special thanks to Anneke Smit for her invaluable
assistance.
© McGill Law Journal 2004
Revue de droit de McGill 2004
To be cited as; (2004) 49 McGill LJ. 951
Mode de r6ffrence : (2004)49 R.D. McGill 951

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