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Queer Wars

Dennis Altman, Jonathan Symons

ISBN: 978-0-745-69868-7 January 2016 Polity 120 Pages


The claim that ‘LGBT rights are human rights’ encounters fierce opposition in many parts of the world, as governments and religious leaders have used resistance to ‘LGBT rights’ to cast themselves as defenders of traditional values against neo-colonial interference and western decadence.

Queer Wars explores the growing international polarization over sexual rights, and the creative responses from social movements and activists, some of whom face murder, imprisonment or rape because of their perceived sexuality or gender expression.

This book asks why sexuality and gender identity have become so vexed an issue between and within nations, and how we can best advocate for change.

Introduction: Queer Wars: How should we respond to global polarization over gay rights?
Chapter 1: Setting the Agenda
Chapter 2: The Emergence of a Global Movement
Chapter 3: Queer Rights as Human Rights
Chapter 4: The Conservative Backlash
Chapter 5: International Polarization
Chapter 6: What is to be done?

"Queer Wars is broad in its scope, engaging in its material, thorough in its conception, and passionate in its argument on how advocacy should build a consensus that protects sexual minorities globally from violence and discrimination. A book for strategists, activists, academics and international workers alike."
Edwin Cameron, Constitutional Court of South Africa

"The global struggle for sexual and gender minority rights is one of the most critical and contested human rights movements of our time. As queer communities mobilize, and the coming generation of young people worldwide express greater tolerance, acceptance and calls for freedom, the pushback has been intense. Altman and Symons have done us all an invaluable service in unpacking the complex politics around LGBT rights, demands, cultures and contexts. Queer Wars is essential reading for all engaged in pressing for more just, open and diverse societies."
Chris Beyrer, Johns Hopkins University and President of the International AIDS Society

"Dennis Altman’s and Jonathan Symons’ work Queer Wars is a timely and accessible intervention on the global state of play for queer rights."
Australian Institute of International Affairs