Essay Human Human International Law Orientation Right Right Sexual

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.

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They are fundamental norms that protect all persons everywhere from grave political, legal and social violations (Nickel, 2014: online).

They exist in both morality and the real world: in national and international law, in institutions, in the foreign policies of states, as well as the activities of political activists and a plethora of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and networks (Beitz, 2009).

Indeed, the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in various human rights organisations and institutions demonstrates the flexibility and perpetual evolution of the human rights body.

The term ‘sexuality’ encompasses a vast domain, with multiple contested meanings that have mutated and transformed both temporally and spatially.

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).

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.

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.

The language of human rights has, in this way, become debased.” (Griffin, 2008: 14) Human rights have become the dominant paradigm within which moral and legal claims are pursued.


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