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Same-sex marriage in China? The strategic promulgation of a progressive policy and its impact on LGBT activism

Hildebrandt, Timothy (2011) Same-sex marriage in China? The strategic promulgation of a progressive policy and its impact on LGBT activism. Review of International Studies, 37 (3). pp. 1313-1333. ISSN 0260-2105

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Abstract

Using the case of same-sex marriage in China, this article explores two fundamental questions: What motivates a non-democratic state to promulgate a progressive human rights policy? More importantly, when a non-democratic state adopts such policies, what is the impact on activism? I argue that same-sex marriage legislation could be used strategically to improve China's human rights reputation. While this would extend a pinnacle right to gays and lesbians, the benefits might not outweigh the costs: I show that when imposed from above, a same-sex marriage law would incur opportunity costs on activism; the passage of this progressive policy would eliminate an important issue around which the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-gender/-sexual (LGBT) community might develop. Moreover, even if such policy is promulgated, the right to marry will do little to challenge the larger social pressures that make life difficult for LGBT Chinese.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2010 British International Studies Association
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2013 13:09
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/52578/

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