What happened with the LGBTQI+ “rights revolution” in Latin America?
Ten years after Argentina’s emblematic “same-sex marriage” law, this issue of Cahiers des Amériques Latines examines the notion of a “rights revolution” [Encarnación, 2016] and takes stock of the situation of sexual and gender minorities in the region. Since the beginning of the 21st century, numerous laws and public policies have been adopted throughout Latin America to protect the rights of LGBTQI+ people. All countries in the region have now decriminalized consensual sex between adults of the same gender. Same-sex marriage is protected by laws and jurisprudence from the highest courts in the region, including the IACHR since 2018. The so-called gender identity laws for trans people in the region are inspiring demands at the international level, and public policies against homophobia or for the protection of intersex people are recognized as innovative. While changes are asymmetrical between countries or regions within countries, the recognition of the rights of LGBTQI+ people has been widespread and sustained, placing the region at the forefront of LGBTQI+ policies around the world.
This institutional context provides a starting point for the analysis of the recognition of the rights and living conditions of sexual and gender minorities in contemporary Latin America. Indeed, these advances for LGBTQI+ populations seem to be questioned today by more conservative governments that have come into office and the increasing power of Evangelical actors in politics. Budget cuts and the consolidation of groups opposed to “gender ideology” appear to threaten the consolidation of human rights movements in general and LGBTQI+ activism in particular. For this reason, three lines of research seem essential to propose a critical reflection on the reality of sexual and gender minorities and to evaluate the LGBTQI+ “rights revolution” in Latin America.
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The issue is scheduled for publication in January 2022.
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