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Sexual Rights Advocacy in Muslim Contexts: Shifting Notions of Culture and Tradition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2017

Anissa Hélie
Affiliation:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

Abstract

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Type
Developments in UN and Regional Bodies Addressing the Human Rights of LGBTI People
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2012

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References

1 In 1992, same-sex conduct (“homosexuality”) ceased to be listed as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, transsexuality remains stigmatized through the diagnosis of gender identity disorder (GID), which is still considered a mental illness today.

2 Since 1991, Amnesty International’s mandate includes the protection of individuals persecuted on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Though established only a few years ago, Human Rights Watch also has a dynamic LGBTI program.

4 Id., § 83.

5 In December 2011, U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton asserted that LGBTI rights are a key element of U.S. foreign policy. More controversially, in November 2011, British Prime Minister Cameron appeared to have linked development aid to human rights, and sexual rights in particular.

6 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Homophobia, Transphobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Comparative Legal Analysis (2010), available at http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/FRA-2011-Homophobia-Update-Report_EN.pdf.

7 Anti-Gay Bullying Reports Flood in (Radio Netherlands Worldwide Nov. 21, 2011), http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/anti-gay-bullying-reports-flood.

8 Human Rights First, Persistent Needs and Gaps: the Protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgen Der and Intersex (LGBTI) Refugees: an Overview of UNHCR’s Response to LGBTI Refugees and Recommendations to Enhance Protection (2010), available at http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Persistent-Needs_LGBTI_Refugees_FINAL.pdf.

9 Butt, Riazat, Muslims in Britain Have Zero Tolerance of Homosexuality, Says Poll, Guardian, May 7, 2009 Google Scholar, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/may/07/muslims-britain-france-germany-homosexuality.

10 Ian Dunt, Surprise Poll Shows Widespread Muslim Support for Gay Rights, Politics.co.uk, June 2, 2011, http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2011/06/27/surprise-poll-shows-widespread-muslim-support.

11 Carlos Santoscoy, New UN President Says Being Gay ‘Not Acceptable, ‘On Top Magazine, Sept. 23, 2009, http://www.ontopmag.com/article.aspx?id=4582&MediaType=l&Category=26.

12 Opposition to the U.S. stand did not stem only from religious actors in Muslim countries. In El Salvador, over 40 Latin American organizations reacted to a pro-sexual diversity article by the U.S. ambassador, accusing her of “disregarding our profound Christian values, rooted in natural law,” by trying to “impose ... a new vision of foreign and bizarre values, completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as ‘human rights’“ with “an air of superiority.” Moran, Gloria, Ultraconservadores se Enojan con la Embajadora Estadounidense, Contrapunto, July 7, 2011 Google Scholar, http://www.contrapunto.com.sv/sociedadciviVultraconservadores-se-enojan-con-la-embajadora-estadounidense.

13 Patrick Goodenough, Pakistani Islamists Protest U.S. Embassy’s ‘Gay Pride’ Event, CNSnews.com, July 5, 2011, http://cnsnews.com/news/article/pakistani-islamists-protest-us-embassy-s-gay-pride-event.

14 United Nations Human Rights Council, Workshop on Traditional Values of Humankind: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, para. 67, UN Doc. A/HRC/16/37 (Dec. 13, 2010).

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