via New Statesman, by Philip Dayle


Eric Heinze, professor of law at Queen Mary, University of London, believes that there is a “manufactured sensitivity” in pressing human rights relating to sexual orientation. Why shouldn’t gay rights attract the same moral revulsion as the fight against racism or violence against women? Can the UK call out its former colonies on this issue? What kind of deference is shown to culture or religion in this type of human rights activism?

Not surprisingly, the colonial history of many developing countries makes them resistant to calls for reform from metropolitan centres in Europe. Activism that is viewed as patronising harks back to the days of empire, when important decisions were made in London and force-fed back to the colonies. These seemingly symbolic considerations are as important as substantive arguments in advocacy for change in this regard.

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