The new globalization of “gay” “pride”

by on July 21, 2010  •  In Criminal law, International


Gay pride events went global a long time ago. For years, Stonewall-timed marches and festivals have been taken up in other countries, in what was a clear importation of norms and concepts from the U.S. This year I've noticed a real shift in the balance: ideas and debates are moving in the other direction. Partly that is because of breakthroughs, especially in Latin America. In addition, concerns from beyond Euro-American borders are reshaping the contours of "gay" issues and implicitly questioning what it is, exactly, we are proud of.

The organizers of Toronto Pride, for example, made the boneheaded decision to exclude the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid group, triggering such an outcry that they had to back down. Protests against Israeli occupation policies also reached San Francisco and Madrid. As world opinion condemning those policies mounts, lgbt pride events will probably continue to be venues for expressing solidarity with Palestinians, and/or contesting whether this is a "gay issue."

Tel Aviv University Law Professor Aeyal Gross provides one concrete reason why it is. Gross, who marched in Tel Aviv Pride behind a banner saying "There is no pride in the occupation,"  describes how the Israeli government attempts to use its degree of support for lgbt rights as a distraction from its policy toward the Palestinians. "Victories for civil rights … are quickly co-opted by the government in its efforts to present Israel’s liberal credentials. Gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool."

Scott Long, head of the lgbt rights program at Human Rights Watch, makes a different point, arguing that the most significant form of legal oppression for lgbt people worldwide comes from criminal laws, themselves a legacy of both the old and the new colonialism:

As Americans, we can easily become accustomed to thinking that globalization means never having to go anywhere where you can't buy a coca-cola product. The language of "gay rights", also, has seemed like a U.S. export, even though there are queer-marked or -identified people in every culture. A truly global discourse of rights will, however, inevitably change the conversation.


One Response to The new globalization of “gay” “pride”

  1. moncler coats January 6, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    He is a good friend that speaks well of us behind our backs.

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