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Tensions in Rights. Navigating Emerging Contradictions in the LGBT Rights Revolution

Ayoub, Phillip M.

With the rejection of claims made by LGBT movements in many states, and amidst a global politics marred by exclusionary populism and nationalism, LGBT rights are increasingly contradicted on the world stage. This chapter explores the tensions between the transnational diffusion of LGBT rights and a “traditional values” politics championed by an emerging global opposition – as well as LGBT activists’ instrumental reframing and translation of “traditional values” and “family values” norms as a direct response. This chapter analyzes how LGBT rights advocacy, within distinct contexts, innovatively addresses these imagined contradictions in rights. It is this process that comes into play when contested rights clash with the arguments of rival movements and global counter norms. Faced with competing claims about new norms governing sexuality – especially those that problematically conflate sexual rights with the external imposition of “Western” power over the “vulnerable” states – local LGBT activists respond with the practice of translation.

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