There are unusually few criteria for determining when the term is used correctly and when incorrectly – and not just among politicians, but among philosophers, political theorists, and jurisprudents as well.
However, I argue against the abandoning of the human rights framework, instead arguing for constant refutation, contestation and to always be self-reflexive of the new exclusions and normativities that can arise from using such strategies.
Chapter One: Theoretical Debates and a Queer Framework “The term ‘human right’ is nearly criterionless.
In addition, discourse surrounding LGBT rights tends to neglect the experience of bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, thereby leaving them marginalized within binary conceptions of gender.
I have chosen to retain the use of the acronym LGBT to reflect the inclusions/exclusions of sexual diversities by the ‘global’ LGBT rights movement; although a queer critique of these categories will be explored in depth in Chapter 2. Chapter 1 introduces the theoretical premises underpinning the human rights regime, focusing specifically on the ‘universality’ and ‘normativity’ of human rights.
I then proceed to utilize the queer framework as set out in chapter 1 in order to problematize the concepts of LGBT, ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’.
In the final chapter, I focus on only one aspect of the ‘global’ LGBT rights movement, specifically the pursuit of same-sex marriage.
I examine the relationship between marriage, citizenship, and human rights before presenting queer critiques of the institution itself which is often presented to be the end goal of emancipatory LGBT rights.
Overall it is argued that the ascendance of LGBT rights in human rights discourse, whether this is through the articulation of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ resolutions, or the pursuit of same-sex marriage can be interpreted as creating and stratifying new forms of heteronormativity (Warner, 1993) and homonormativity (Duggan, 2003).
Challenges to the traditional heteronormative power structures, that is, the dominant and pervasive belief of heterosexuality as the norm, have seen an eruption of sexual diversity and the questioning of fixed notions of sexual binaries and continuums.
There are a number of terms used to describe non-heterosexual and gender variant people which reflect concerns about inclusivity and exclusivity, as well as the political implications of doing so (Wilkinson, and Langlois, 2014: 251).