Critique of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in human rights discourse: global queer politics beyond the Yogyakarta Principles

  title={Critique of ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ in human rights discourse: global queer politics beyond the Yogyakarta Principles},
  author={Matthew Waites},
  journal={Contemporary Politics},
  pages={137 - 156}
  • M. Waites
  • Published 1 March 2009
  • Sociology
  • Contemporary Politics
This article presents a critique of the concepts ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’, which are being employed to contest global human rights discourses by prevailing international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and human rights activist networks – notably in the Declaration of Montreal (2006) and, especially, the Yogyakarta Principles (2007). Theoretical analysis, informed by social theory and queer theory, is presented of these key concepts shaping human rights debates… 

Sexual orientation, (anti-)discrimination and human rights in a ‘Christian nation’: the politicization of homosexuality in Zambia

Zambia has recently witnessed heated public and political debates over issues of homosexuality and gay or LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) rights. This article explores these

Theorising LGBT Rights as Human Rights: A Queer(itical) Analysis

The past three decades have seen a proliferation in international activist and advocacy networks surrounding the global politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. Although the

Transgender Identity, Sexual versus Gender ‘Rights’ and the Tools of the Indian State

Sexual and gender minorities in contemporary India are formed in the interstices between the neoliberal, Hindutva state; transnational discourses of liberal democracy and sexual ‘rights’; as well as

Struggle for Recognition: Theorising Sexual/Gender Minorities as Rights-Holders in International Law

This article argues for the necessity of recognising the collective rights-holding status of ‘sexual and gender minorities’ (SGMs) by examining the limits of the discourse concerning sexual

Human rights, sexual orientation and the generation of childhoods: analysing the partial decriminalisation of ‘unnatural offences’ in India

What is the relationship between global struggles over ‘sexual orientation’ and human rights, and sociological, legal and ‘queer’ understandings of sexuality and childhood? On 2 July 2009, the

Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in the commonwealth: from history and law to developing activism and transnational dialogues

Human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity are at last reaching the heart of global debates. Yet 78 states worldwide continue to criminalise same-sex sexual behaviour, and due

A history in the making : Muslim sexual and gender diversity between international human rights law and Islamic law

This thesis offers a critical historical analysis of the discourses on sexual and gender diversity related to international human

Sexual orientation and gender identity in human rights impact assessment

Responding to violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people worldwide, in the light of the universality of human rights, this paper demonstrates the need, benefits

Uneven encounters and paradoxical rights : embodiment and difference in sexual orientation rights and activism

My thesis takes the intersection of sexual orientation and human rights and the increased tendency towards the expression of the concerns of sexual minorities in rights



Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and International Human Rights Law: Contextualising the Yogyakarta Principles

On 26 March 2007, a group of human rights experts launched the Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of Human Rights Law in Relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (the Yogyakarta

The Fixity of Sexual Identities in the Public Sphere: Biomedical Knowledge, Liberalism and the Heterosexual/Homosexual Binary in Late Modernity

This article analyses the persistence of the heterosexual/homosexual binary in contemporary society, by examining the circulation of knowledge-claims concerning the age at which the ‘fixity’ of

Equality at Last? Homosexuality, Heterosexuality and the Age of Consent in the United Kingdom

The so-called ‘gay age of consent’ was the most high-profile issue in UK lesbian, gay and bisexual politics during the 1990s. Campaigning for an equal age of consent provoked a series of extended

Framing the sexual subject : the politics of gender, sexuality, and power

This book is a collection of the work of writers from different disciplines and cultural traditions around the world who explore the social and political dimensions of sexuality and sexual

An explosion of Thai identities: Global queering and re-imagining queer theory

This paper reflects on recent research on Thai discourses of gender and eroticism in order to problematize some of the universalist assumptions that have dominated discussion of the international

Sexuality and Human Rights : A Global Overview

* Foreword * International Lesbian and Gay Law Association (R. Douglas Elliott) * CERSGOSIG: Perspectives and Objectives to Challenge Discrimination: A Network on Global Scale (Stefano Fabeni) *


This article examines two disputes within sex and gender movements, using them to think through inclusion/exclusion processes, the place of such explosions in the construction of collective identity,

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity

Preface (1999) Preface (1990) 1. Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire I. 'Women' as the Subject of Feminism II. The Compulsory Order of Sex/Gender/Desire III. Gender: The Circular Ruins of Contemporary

The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics. National Imprints of a Worldwide Movement

1. Introduction - the Editors 2. Moral Regulation and the Disintegrating Canadian State - Barry D Adam 3. Gay and Lesbian Movements in the United States: Dilemmas of Identity, Diversity, and

Sexual Politics

  • R. Collins
  • Political Science
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1984
The Politics of Reproductive Ritual is a book that could have been much better than it is. The basic idea, that reproductive rituals are a form of politics used in stateless societies that lack more