Democracy and Gender and Sexual Minority Rights: Brazil, Bulgaria and Namibia compared - How can we understand the importance of democracy to furthering LGBTQ human rights?
Abstract: Democracies are argued to be imperative for the advancement of LGBTQ human rights. In the last two decades, however, the picture regarding LGBTQ rights has been extremely contradictory with countries adopting ‘LGBTQ friendly’ policies such as same-sex marriage or adoption while other democratic nation-states have constrained or not developed the rights of sexual minorities. Flaws in the democratic political system and the international human right regime are believed to be responsible for that. The aim of this paper is to investigate the significance of democracy in relation to sexual and gender minority human rights. This is done by (a) framing the study through previous studies related to the topic, the use of Queer IR and democratic theory, and (b) conducting a small-N comparison with content analysis where Brazil, Bulgaria and Namibia are analysed to answer the research question. Democracy is demonstrated to be a necessary factor in the process of LGBTQ right advancement, but not essential. Other factors are believed to influence the process, especially social movements and their effect in norm internalisation processes.
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