Bookphoria with Victoria – Pride month 2023

Protecting and promoting human rights is essential to advancing rights and achieving equality for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQIA+ individuals also often experience other human rights abuses such as violence, intimidation, and harassment and are subject to laws and policies that criminalize same-sex relationships, gender identity, and expression. When assessed using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, violations of the following articles are prevalent against LGBTQIA+ persons:  

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often denied their fundamental right to equality and are subjected to discriminatory laws and practices. 

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, which is a violation of this article. 

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often subject to violence and hate crimes, which violate their right to life and security. This can also lead to fear and trauma for the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Article 5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often subjected to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, including forced conversion therapy, which is a violation of this article. 

Article 7:  All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. As the LGBTQIA+ community faces discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity and are often not afforded equal protection under the law.  

Article 16: LGBTQIA+ individuals often face legal barriers to marriage and parenthood, which denies them the right to form families and have a sense of belonging within society. 

Article 19: LGBTQIA+ people face restrictions on their freedom of expression as many governments criminalize same-sex relationships and punish individuals for expressing their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often censored and silenced, which is a violation of this article. 

Article 23: Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. LGBTQIA+ individuals are often discriminated against in the workplace and denied the right to equal opportunities for employment and advancement. 

Article 25: The LGBTQIA+ community faces difficulties in accessing healthcare services, as many healthcare providers are not trained to provide care for LGBTQIA+ individuals or may be biased against them. This can lead to poor health outcomes and endanger their lives. 

Overall, addressing the issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community is crucial to ensuring that human rights are upheld for all individuals. Governments, civil society, and international organizations must work to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals and promote equality and non-discrimination. 

Suggested Reading 

Queering international law : possibilities, alliances, complicities, risks / edited by Dianne Otto.(2018)

ISBN:  9781138289918 

On the RWI shelf under 20 QUE 

From the publisher: This ground-breaking collection reflects the growing momentum of interest in the international legal community in meshing the insights of queer legal theory with those critical theories that have a much longer genealogy – notably postcolonial and feminist analyses. Beyond the push in the human rights field to ensure respect for the rights of people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, queer legal theory provides a means to examine the structural assumptions and conceptual architecture that underpin the normative framework and operation of international law, highlighting bias and blind spots and offering fresh perspectives and practical innovations. 

The contributors to the book use queer legal theory to critically analyse the basic tenets and operations of international law, with many surprising, thought-provoking and instructive results. The volume will be of interest to many scholars, students and researchers in international law, international relations, cultural studies, gender studies, queer studies and postcolonial studies. 

Sexual orientation, gender identity and international human rights law : common law perspectives / Kerry O’Halloran.(2020)

ISBN 9781138337060 

On the RWI shelf: 69:2 HAL 

From the publisher: This book identifies, analyses and discusses the nexus of legal issues that have emerged in recent years around sexuality and gender. It audits these against specific human rights requirements and evaluates the outcomes as evidenced in the legislation and caselaw of six leading common law jurisdictions. Beginning with a snapshot of the legal definitions and sanctions associated with the traditional marital family unit, the book examines the subsequently evolving key concepts and constructs before outlining the contemporary international framework of human rights as it relates to matters of sexuality and gender. It proceeds by identifying a set of themes, including the rights to identity, to form a family, to privacy, to equality and to non-discrimination, and undertakes a comparative evaluation of how these and other themes indicate areas of commonality and difference in the approaches adopted in those common law jurisdictions, as illustrated by the associated legislation and caselaw. It then considers why this should be and assesses the implications. 

Sexuality, Gender, and the Law / Edited by Eskridge Jr., William; Hunter, Nan; Joslin, Courtney. (2018)

ISBN: 9781634605298 

On the RWI shelf under: 69:1 SEX  

This casebook offers law professors and students a doctrinally comprehensive, theoretically ambitious, and up-to-date exploration of the treatment of sexuality and gender in American public law. The Fourth Edition extends the historically grounded first chapter from the Third Edition – establishing the three primary doctrinal strands of liberty, equality, and expression – through the end of the twentieth century. The second chapter focuses on the turning points that now define the field:

  • The post-Roe “undue burden” standard as it has evolved from Planned Parenthood v. Casey to Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt; 
  • The elimination of criminal laws against sexual conduct based on morality in Lawrence v. Texas and queries as to the reach of that principle; and 
  • The legalization of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. 

Discrimination against women and against trans- and non-binary persons is highlighted throughout the book, from the historical chapter through the most contemporary disputes in workplace and family law. The book’s distinctive chapter on the theoretical debates that underlay the field contains more coverage of intersectional and trans-influenced thinking, and a new chapter focuses on the conflict between equality and religious liberty claims, which increasingly dominate in both LGBT and reproductive rights cases. With Professor Courtney Joslin of UC-Davis Law School joining as a new co-author, Sexuality, Gender, and the Law continues to provide both the most comprehensive and deepest coverage of this dynamic field. 

Transforming prejudice : identity, fear, and transgender rights / Melissa R. Michelson and Brian F. Harrison. (2020)

ISBN: 978-0190068899 

On the RWI Shelf: 69:2 MIC 

From the publisher: Over the last few decades, public opinion has shifted dramatically to be more supportive of gay and lesbian people and their rights, including support for same-sex relationships and marriage. Support for transgender people and rights, in contrast, remains relatively low. As a result, transgender people suffer from discrimination and violence. Shifting attitudes toward transgender people requires a new approach to persuasive communication, one that recognizes the discomfort that many people feel about the subject but also one that appeals to core values and emotions in a way that encourages them to shift their perspective. This book introduces a new theory—Identity Reassurance Theory—which outlines how to transform prejudice against transgender people. The book provides concrete suggestions about how to reduce defensive reactions, helping people take a journey from prejudice to support. Support for Identity Reassurance Theory comes from a series of experiments conducted with individuals face to face, via the Internet, and in the laboratory. When individuals are put in a happier state of mind or when they are reminded about the good in people, they are more supportive of transgender rights. When they are told a story about a mother who did not support transgender people and rights until her own child came out as transgender, they are more likely to support transgender rights. In these and other experiments, Transforming Prejudice describes a method of boosting the self-esteem of recipients of communication to lower their defenses and to encourage them to be more accepting of others who are different than they are. 

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