Crafting Radical Opposition or Reproducing Homonormativity? Consociationalism and LGBT Rights Activism in Lebanon

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Abstract

There is little research on the struggles surrounding gay rights in divided societies emerging from intrastate conflict and characterized by consociational power sharing, which allocates rights to the main ethnic groups. While consociational arrangements – predicated on a minority rights regime – theoretically open up constitutional space for LGBT rights, they often negate such possibilities by empowering ethnic hardliners opposed to sexual minorities. This article explores how Lebanese LGBT activists conceptualize rights and craft mobilization tactics and strategies. I focus on an “identity dilemma” faced by Lebanese activists: to create a public identity for rights demands or to elide such a process. While the former strategy seeks openings in the power sharing structure, the latter aims for a radical form of resistance against the sectarianism of consociationalism. Activists pursuing the latter strategy, moreover, see consociationalism as encouraging an LGBT mobilization that reproduces the sectarian system and is complicit with homonormativity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
JournalJournal of Human Rights
Volume17
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

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