In many regions of the world, political campaigns and parliamentary debates reveal social prejudice that leads to discrimination, violence and even death for LGBT people. Such prejudices have become a focus for right-wing backlash.
UC Berkeley scholars say that the backlash shows that inherited ideologies no longer command undivided loyalty. Changing times and shifting coalitions have changed the balance of power.
The politics of sexual orientation and gender identity has become a flashpoint in domestic culture wars and international diplomatic rows. In recent years, many states have passed laws that restrict the rights of LGBT people, including limiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools and medical offices. Some of these laws have even targeted parents and doctors who provide gender-affirming treatment to transgender teenagers. These moves are part of a larger social movement that is attacking LGBTQ people.
This movement is often associated with neoliberalism, which argues that all social problems can be solved by private solutions and the family unit. It also imposes a strict hierarchy of rights and privileges, leaving marginalized groups with few protections. These movements are often based on fear, and can be dangerous.
A common explanation is that the experience of oppression leads marginalized groups to identify with liberal politics. For example, people who have been discriminated against based on their race and religion are more likely to support civil rights initiatives. However, researchers like Patrick Egan have found that the relationship between social and political identities is not always direct. Some people change their identities to match their political beliefs, while others stop identifying as gay or lesbian.
These movements also face the danger of a backlash, which occurs when the powerful perceive that their power is being threatened by a less-powerful group. This phenomenon is behind the rise of the Tea Party and Trump movements, and it is also a key reason why the right-wing is targeting LGBTQ people in particular.
The politics surrounding LGBT issues have attracted astounding levels of attention in recent years, triggering both domestic culture wars and international diplomatic rows. Some States have adopted substantial equality provisions, while others impose strict discriminatory regimes that are often justified by reference to national traditions or cultural identity. These policies and practices fuel the perception that diversity in sexual orientation or gender identity is harmful to society and should be controlled.
Increasingly, political parties and leaders are using LGBT issues as wedge issues to mobilize conservative constituencies in times of economic stress or social unrest. This strategy allows them to present themselves as defenders of tradition, culture and traditional values while avoiding the costs of being perceived as progressive or left-wing. For example, the Republican Party’s refusal to support same-sex marriage has alienated many voters who previously supported them.
Despite these setbacks, many gay and lesbian people have become more politically active. Several states have elected openly LGBT politicians, and the number of LGBTQ members of Congress has grown to record levels. This increase in political representation comes alongside a record number of gay and lesbian activists joining mainstream protests for other causes, such as racial justice, gun control and health care reform. It also reflects the fact that gay and lesbian people tend to be more liberal than their straight counterparts, and that political views are correlated with sexual orientation or gender identity.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights have become points of contention in many countries around the world, triggering domestic cultural wars as well as international diplomatic rows. Politicians use scapegoating of LGBTI people to divert attention from their failure to address pressing social problems, rising inequalities and attacks on democracy and human rights.
Robinson: Right-wing politicians have long learned that if you can target a minority group with hatred, you will bring out constituencies of individuals who are uncomfortable with that group and vote against them. That’s what happened with Proposition 8 in California, and it’s happening now with the concerted effort to ban same-sex marriage.
In the United States, this is a critical time for gay, lesbian and transgender political leadership, with several openly LGBT elected officials in state legislatures and Congress. In addition, the number of LGBT elected officials is growing globally, including in Africa, where Maura Healey and Tina Kotek are the first openly LGBTQ governors.
The rise of the glbtq community in politics is a sign that we are moving away from inherited ideologies and towards a more democratic politics. However, despite the emergence of autonomous theories and practices, many LGBT activists continue to be vulnerable to the exploitation of their issues by politicians who curry their support in order to win elections.
Policymakers are implementing anti-LGBT laws across the globe, creating a climate of hate and fear that impacts the wellbeing of LGBT people. In some cases, these policies are promoted as protections for the public and religious freedoms of minorities. However, research indicates that the public is not buying this argument. Despite increasing acceptance of homosexuality, public opinion remains divided on the issue. While many Democrats think that gays and lesbians should be accepted by society, Republicans are more likely to believe that homosexuality is harmful. These beliefs create a culture of exclusion that has an adverse impact on LGBT people’s access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, and political participation.
While the recent slate of anti-LGBT legislation has drawn widespread criticism, proponents of these bills argue that they’re defending children, parental rights, and religious freedom. In addition, they argue that homosexuality is a sin that affects the health of young children and should be outlawed.
A growing literature on the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity offers insights into a range of issues, including social movements, power, and democracy. These studies offer valuable contributions to the study of political science, sociology, history, and international relations. They also contribute to a new understanding of how policies are made. They highlight how sexuality and gender shape political power and discourses in democratic societies and nondemocratic ones.