Human rights contestations: sexual orientation and gender identity

This article asks if and why sexual orientation and gender identity-related rights should connect to a human rights framework. To answer that question it begins by addressing how we understand what makes human rights resonate or not resonate and if addressing a contentious issue such as sexual orientation or gender identity from within a human rights frame advances or detracts from such resonance.

The argument developed in response is anti-foundational: i.e., that human rights' resonance has not come from some universally valid extra-political foundational source but, rather, comes from how human rights have been transformed (at times) into tools that become relevant to everyday struggles of marginalised peoples.

Considered in that context, including recognition of sexual orientation and gender identity-related rights may be extraordinarily difficult, but also presents an opportunity to re-conceptualise human rights in a way that reflects the sort of bottom-up demands that keep human rights relevant.  Read more via International Journal of Human Rights