Homoglobalism: Global Gay Governance

In 2016, the UN appointed an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), and the World Bank announced the appointment of an advisor on SOGI. Both nominations are part of a wider trend of global institutions beginning to engage with LGBT issues. My paper considers what I call ‘global gay governance’ The project examines developments at the level of international law and global institutions (e. g., international financial institutions, the UN). The institutional developments discussed are part of an emerging ‘homoglobalism’.
The paper will highlight some of the challenges facing advocates of LGBT rights and the need for a cost-benefit analysis assessing the advantages of advancing LGBT rights at the global level against the risk of co-option by global institutions for their own purposes, but also of a backlash that, some will argue, exacerbates homophobia.

The ECtHR’s LGBT* rights case law: policing, shifting, and subverting (?) ‘borders’

At a time when the trajectory of LGBT* rights recognition in international human rights law is widely celebrated, this paper examines the policing, shifting, and potential subversion of different boundaries in supranational LGBT* rights jurisprudence. Focusing especially on gender designation, LGBT* asylum claims, and the bounds of popular acceptability as they arise in the LGBT* rights jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), it probes how relevant lines have shifted in the evolution of the ECtHR’s jurisprudence and the role the supranational court plays in policing such (sometimes shifting but nonetheless rigid) lines. Ultimately, it reflects on what scope there is in the ECtHR’s progressive interpretation of LGBT* rights for subverting such ‘borders’, and for a more subversive reimagining of human rights more broadly.

Sex/Gender Rights and Untimely Evolution in International Human Rights Law

In international human rights law (IHRL), women’s rights have been a staple of UN activity since the 1990s. LGBT* rights have entered the UN stage more recently via focus on non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and developments such as the Yogyakarta Principles. Women’s and LGBT* rights, however, continue to be perceived as distinct. In this paper, I argue for a joined-up approach which I term ‘sex/gender’ rights. This would integrate the concerns of women and LGBT* persons, recognising gender as a technology of power affecting many identities and relations. This approach is not one that I argue to be falsely imposed on IHRL. Rather, drawing from Elizabeth Grosz’s reading of Charles Darwin, such a development can be considered as part of the ongoing evolution of IHRL. This conception of evolution is untimely – moving backwards as well as forwards – and may involve a return to reconsider the foundational ideas of ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ and re-approach rights accordingly.

Rethinking Gay Visibility

This paper draws on theories of visual culture to posit a paradigm of 'gay visibility' for legal studies. It demonstrates that visibility is critical to gay life and politics, but that it operates as a paradox because it simultaneously advances and undermines minority rights and identity. It then analyzes the ways in which this paradox emerges in the Hong Kong case of Cho Man Kit v. Broadcasting Authority. It concludes by underscoring the need for courts and critics to recognize, and to foreground, the complexity of the visual dimension of sexual minorities in legal analysis.